LONDON | The UK high tech manufacturing sector still remains positive about prospects for 2012 according to a new survey. Respondents felt the current euro zone situation could provide UK high tech manufacturers with opportunities. 30% said that the UK had generally become more competitive than other major European economies. The health of the sector was reflected by 84% of the respondents saying they were either busy or operating almost at full capacity; although this is down from 88% in June 2011.
UK high tech manufacturers also remain positive about current trading conditions. 73% said they were positive about current trading, slightly down from June 2011 when 77% of businesses were positive about current trading.
GE UK CEO Mark Elborne commented:
“It is extremely encouraging to see a good proportion of these firms are expecting significant growth in the next 12 months. However we need to ensure the conditions are right to help them to grow. Access to finance is important but ensuring the UK is developing the right skills.”
71% of the 362 high tech manufacturers questioned in the GE High Tech Index believe their business would grow in 2012. 45% felt they would achieve growth of over 5%, and 26% said, despite current uncertainties, they would achieve growth of more than 10%.
46% of respondents were planning to increase staffing levels over the next 12 months. The main reasons for growth cited were improvement in demand from emerging markets, internal improvements in products and services and changes to the business environment such as low interest rates and the favourable exchange rate.