Solving the UK’s productivity puzzle

SME manufacturers are looking for productivity gains from their workforce and existing equipment ahead of investment in automation, according to the latest National Manufacturing Barometer. The quarterly survey, which is conducted by SWMAS in partnership with Economic Growth Solutions, asked over 280 manufacturing industry leaders how they plan to increase productivity at their business.

Just 43% of respondents said they are planning to invest in new equipment and only 40% are planning to recruit to meet future increases in sales – the lowest recruitment figure the Manufacturing Barometer has reported since 2013. Despite this, an overwhelming majority of firms (61%) reported an increase in sales over the past six months, while 59% are confident this trend will continue.
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