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.


Employee engagement through times of change


More sales, more jobs, and more investment predicted by SME manufacturers

 Confidence amongst SME manufacturers is at its highest level for two years according to the latest Manufacturing Barometer, carried out by SWMAS (the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service) and the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).

Nearly two thirds of firms are expecting to increase sales between now and October, with 58% indicating that they are planning to boost investment over the next six months as they look to the future. Out of nearly 300 firms questioned, 54% highlighted an increased need to recruit staff over the coming months.

This quarter’s Barometer took an in-depth look at how manufacturing SMEs are recovering from the pandemic and, encouragingly, 48% of respondents now expect to return to, or exceed, their pre-COVID-19 position within three months.

On the jobs front, although 80% of businesses have utilised the government’s furlough scheme at some point in the last year, only 37% are still using it today.

The report also reveals that new working practices are being implemented because of the pandemic. 42% of the business leaders questioned are now planning to offer their employees some level of remote working, up 28% from the number who were offering this before the pandemic began.

This survey collected 298 responses from SME manufacturing businesses in England between 12- 23 April 2021.

Download the National Manufacturing Barometer report here: Q4 2020-21

East Midlands Barometer report Q4 2020-21

West Midlands Barometer report Q4 2020-21

South East Barometer report Q4 2020-21

Yorkshire and Humber Barometer report Q4 2020-21