When it comes to the economy, there have been tales of woe for six or seven years. A double dip recession, unemployment issues and precious little sign of recovery. Thankfully, there are better times ahead for the UK;s manufacturing industry with the IMF having upgraded its UK growth forecast from 1.9% to 2.4% for this year.
Recent predictions suggest the new forecast puts Britain well ahead of Germany, which the IMF expects to grow by 1.6%, and France, which is forecast to grow by 0.9%.
Good news indeed. The facts make for positive reading. And here are those facts. New manufacturing orders grew at the strongest rate in almost three years in the three months to January, with the CBI revealing that 34% of manufacturers reported an increase in new orders over the period.
A pickup in the broader economy, with growth of 0.8% in both the second and third quarters of 2013, has helped to boost confidence among consumers and businesses in recent months.
The Treasury has welcomed the UK upgrade, the largest for any of the advanced G7 countries. “[The IMF] report provides further evidence that the government’s long-term economic plan is working,” a spokesman said.
“But the job is not yet done and so the government will go on taking the difficult decisions necessary to deliver a sustainable recovery for all.”
Britain’s car industry is another shining example with new car sales up 10.8% in 2013. The industry has been hailed by the government as a success story for British manufacturing, as companies including Jaguar, Land Rover and Nissan continue to invest in the UK.
Nissan, the UK’s largest car manufacturer, has started production of the new Qashqai at its Sunderland factory, where more than 7,000 people are now employed. The Japanese company, which has operated in Sunderland for 28 years, has invested £534m in the UK development and production of the Qashqai, which supports 224 suppliers in 22 countries.