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What Does the Future Hold?

5th January 2018   |   Articles

A Word from us at JC

Reading the news locally / regionally and comparing that to what was being published nationally last year you would have been forgiven for thinking you were reading about two distinct and separate countries… until the end of the year that is.

Locally / regionally our media were publishing brilliant stories about companies’ growth both in terms of turnover and profit, but also in terms of growth in employee numbers and new contracts won. They were talking about innovation and increases in productivity, but nationally the news wasn’t half as chipper.

“The Brexit clock is ticking,” proclaimed one

“Interest rate rise looms,” said another

“Brexit fears are holding back manufacturing investment, study finds,” says another

“UK trade deficit widens as weak pound fails to boost exports,”…. and on and on…

 

Then towards the end of the year the nationals seemed to catch up with what was happening locally / regionally and started to change their tune.

“UK factories optimistic for 2018 despite Brexit concerns, survey finds”

“UK productivity jumps at fastest rate for six years”

“UK manufacturing growth stays strong at end of year”

 

So what changed? Did the nationals just get bored of reporting bad news? Were they being challenged by manufacturers and businesses who were saying, “that might be true for some but for us it’s a very different story!”

At JC we felt that we should challenge what was being said and we did so via our Twitter feed. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not saying that all in the garden is rosy. Yes there is Brexit, but what can we do about that? Well what we can do is continue to push forward, lobby our local MPs about issues key to us (skills shortages for one), take opportunities where they present themselves and ensure we stay lean and focussed on the future we want to create. That’s the route we chose and many of the businesses around us chose… and then the change in tone from the nationals from negative to quietly optimistic.

It’s a fact that the manufacturing sector had the best three months at the end of 2017 since 2014. A survey published in the Guardian also reported that “54% of firms said they expected to increase production over the course of 2018.” Another article, also published by the Guardian, said that “Britain’s’ manufacturers are more upbeat about the state of the global economy than at any time since 2014 and believe demand from overseas will sustain their businesses through another year of Brexit uncertainty.”

The truth is no-one knows what the future holds but for businesses there are opportunities as well as challenges and it’s our job to find those opportunities and maximise them for our businesses but also for our clients and customers. Whatever happens in 2018 I, and everyone at JC Metalworks, wish you a very, very good one – irrespective of what the media say!


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