Magazine article Management Services

From the Chairman John Lucey

Magazine article Management Services

From the Chairman John Lucey

Article excerpt

How much does it cost to change a light bulb?

Smaller manufacturers have begun to benefit from the economic recovery, with confidence rising for the first time in nearly two years and the three year decline in orders and output coming to an end.

The CBI quarterly survey of small and medium size firms published last month, shows that the persistent decline in orders that began in April 2001 has been halted. The seven year decline in export orders has come to an end with the first positive result since july 1996 and export confidence has also risen for the first time in eighteen months.

Output was flat over the last three months, but this has ended the decline in output that began almost three years ago and companies are showing the most positive expectation since April 2002.

Hugh Morgan Williams, Chairman of the CBI's SME Council said: "Smaller manufacturers will be greatly encouraged by these findings. The three year slide in orders and output has finally halted and firms will now be hoping the worst is behind them. Confidence has been boosted and over the coming quarter smaller firms expect positive growth, but we should remember that few have seen it just yet. Jobs are still being lost and the broader economic recovery must endure for smaller firms to truly enter positive territory."

This is indeed good news for manufacturing after many years of decline, downsizing and outsourcing. But at a time when manufacturing has had to get leaner the public sector seems to be getting fatter! Council tax bills have almost doubled on average in the past ten years. …

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