Growth strategy should focus on helping more large companies to thrive and expand
Britain's manufacturers are confident they will be able to fill the "growth gap" as the public sector contracts. The Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) says its members - 6,000 industrial companies of all sizes - are "well placed" to respond to the Prime Minister's call to "create and innovate; invest and grow".
Having endured the worst downturn in three-quarters of a century, British industry has benefited from a 25 per cent depreciation of sterling since its peaks in 2007, and most surveys of business confidence and export orders reflect a mood of optimism. This will hearten those in the Treasury and the Bank of England most worried about the "rebalancing" of the economy away from consumption and towards investment and exports.
However, the EEF says that British industry would " benefit from a government strategy which helps to overcome the growth barriers that companies face and to grow the next generation of large global players". Its latest Report, The Shape of British Industry, comes ahead of the Government's forthcoming White Paper on boosting economic growth.
The EEF says that the "sophisticated, successful sector" is growing at the fastest rate since 1994. Its chief executive, Terry Scuoler, commented: "Whilst the current attention on young businesses and start-ups is helpful, we must not ignore the wider benefits to the economy that larger companies bring. The UK doesn't just need a handful of larger companies over the next decade; we need hundreds of them with the scale and muscle to tackle our economic challenges. Otherwise we risk placing a speed limit on our growth potential." The EEF points out that Germany has more than twice as many …