UK manufacturers are predicting a sharp recovery in their fortunes once COVID-19 vaccines roll out, according to new data published by accounting and business advisory firm BDO.
Some 95% of manufacturers surveyed predicted that their business would fully recover within a year of a vaccine being made available, while the other 5% predicted recovery would take between 1-3 years.
BDO’s Rethinking the Economy poll of 111 mid-market manufacturers also found that almost half (47%) said news of the vaccine would prompt them to change their business plans although they hadn’t made any significant changes to date.
More than half the manufacturers surveyed (53%) also said they were now more optimistic about the UK’s economic recovery compared with their feelings three months ago.
Their renewed optimism also seems to have encouraged manufacturers to invest for the future. Investing in new technology to increase business efficiency was considered to be the top priority by survey respondents, with almost two fifths of manufacturers (39%) saying they planned efficiency investments within the next six months.
BDO National Head of Manufacturing Tom Lawton, said: “The news that vaccine trials have proved effective has given a much needed boost to the manufacturing sector. Sad reality is that things are likely to get worse before they get better.
“That said, it is very encouraging to see so many manufacturers looking to the future and investing in new technology to improve productivity and competitiveness. This will be vital for long term sustainability and growth.”