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North West manufacturers top for investment confidence

The most recent quarterly manufacturing survey from EEF shows that the confidence of North West firms to invest is higher than in any other UK region.

Despite slowed growth and more political uncertainty in the last quarter, the latest Manufacturing Outlook survey from EEF and business advisory firm BDO LLP put investment confidence at +29 per cent for the North West.

Overall, output and orders dipped across the North West but remain “elevated” following a strong 2017.

The region is being buoyed in particular by positive demand conditions in aerospace and a solid outlook for the chemicals sector, the report states.

Richard Halstead, EEF Director of Member Engagement for the North, said:

“This is a strong performance by North West companies which reflects the positive sentiment in the region.

“Whilst there may be some easing to come from continued political uncertainty in line with the national picture, the long-term prospects for companies that invest in skills and training in particular will remain bright.”

Nationally, the survey shows a positive outlook for mechanical equipment and electronics manufacturers but a “tough year” is expected for construction-related sectors due to difficult conditions in the industry.

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