Barometer | Manufacturing Growth Programme


Manufacturing Barometer

The Manufacturing Barometer maps confidence, trends and opinions from within the manufacturing industry where the findings are used to help lobby local and national Government to ensure that SME manufacturers are receiving more of the right support they need to grow within an ever competitive environment.

Each quarter the survey looks at a ‘special focus’ relating to current news or activities from within the sector and/or economy.


COVID-19 Recovery & Future Growth Plans


SME manufacturers more upbeat as the sector emerges from lockdown, but there is still a long way to go.

The Manufacturing Barometer, the largest survey of SME manufacturers in England, showed that the sector is bouncing back from the worst effects of COVID-19 – with a degree of increased optimism around turnover, profits, jobs and investment.

The previous report, surveyed in April as the COVID-19 crisis intensified, showed plummeting sales and production volumes, and the probability of deep job cuts throughout the sector.

Three months on, the latest report reveals that while the key indicators remain in “negative territory”, manufacturers are slightly more optimistic about their prospects over the short and medium term. However, it is clear there are still difficult times ahead for the manufacturing sector.

Whilst manufacturers are still in negative territory since the COVID-19 crisis began, there has been a marked improvement since the previous Barometer in March, which showed the bleakest outlook in over a decade.

Whilst 48% still expect sales to reduce in the coming months, this has almost halved from the 85% who predicted this in March. However, when surveyed in January prior to the pandemic, only 17% saw a drop in sales on the horizon, showing that, whilst things are indeed improving, the SME manufacturing sector is still not back to its pre COVID-19 position…


This survey collected 345 responses from SME manufacturing businesses in England between 1st July and 10th July.

Download the National Manufacturing Barometer report here: Summer 2020

Regional Manufacturing Barometer reports

East Midlands Barometer
West Midlands Barometer
South East Barometer
Yorkshire & Humber Barometer