Brexit fears manufacturers as clock enters final countdown according to new EEF/AIG Survey
The EEF/AIG Annual Senior Executive Survey shows that whilst companies still expect to see growth in domestic and export orders, as well as employment, in the coming year, they are less confident than a year ago, especially about prospects for the UK economy.
Given the UK departure from the EU Brexit and, the consequences surrounding it, 72 per cent of manufacturers say it is their biggest source of uncertainty. The survey also suggests exchange rate volatility, customs checks and relocation of major customers away from UK are the biggest Brexit related risks.
In response over six in ten companies are looking to stockpile with 29 per cent already doing so and a further 33 per cent planning to do so in 2019. Cyber security is shown as the biggest non-Brexit related risk and companies are seen to already be taking or planning to take action to mitigate risk.
“While companies are naturally optimistic by their very nature, the spectre of Brexit is now very front of mind for manufacturers. This is bringing with it a whole host of risks from increased exchange rate volatility to rising input costs which right now are very difficult to plan for,” said Stephen Phipson, EEF Chief Executive. “Business is crying out for some certainty and clarity on moving to a transition period and will have watched the pre-Christmas pantomime in Parliament with dismay. This situation cannot continue.”