The latest results from the Manufacturing Advisory Service Barometer suggest that 50 per cent of the 682 firms questioned have committed to buy new equipment. Meanwhile, 67 per cent of companies are predicting future increases in sales turnover.
Encouragingly, 82 per cent of manufacturing SMEs have gained new sales as a result of diversifying their product range. The study also discovered that 53 per cent of businesses reported a rise in sales in the first half of 2013.
There was also reason for optimism in the employment market, with 53 per cent of businesses revealing they were planning to take on more staff over the next six months. Half of those SMEs surveyed said that they would keep their workforce at the same level.
Commenting on the results from the MAS survey, Damon Walford Managing Director of Invoice Finance for Aldermore said:
"These findings from the Manufacturing Advisory Service are fantastic news for what is such a significant sector of the British economy. It's pleasing to see manufacturers gaining confidence to innovate, invest and grow their businesses, this is at last some good news for a sector which has been impacted heavily by the recession."
The Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said he was 'encouraged' by the results, highlighting the survey as another sign of overall economic improvement.
"It is particularly encouraging to see that confidence is returning and manufacturers are becoming more optimistic about their future growth," he commented.
As part of its series on UK manufacturing, Aldermore Bank has been investigating the health of SMEs across the United Kingdom. The series, highlighting the state of UK businesses in the sector, has focused on a number of regions across the United Kingdom.
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