The decline of UK manufacturing: Companies say Britain is losing out to global rivals

Lauren Fedor
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UK manufacturers are most concerned that they're not doing enough to stay competitive (Source: Getty)
British manufacturers are worried about falling behind their overseas competitors, according to a new survey out today.

EEF and Vodafone, who conducted the survey, said that while 94 per cent of UK manufacturers were engaged in innovation initiatives, most were concerned that they were not doing enough to stay competitive.

Their sentiment matches the latest official data, which shows UK business expenditure on research and development is only 1.1 per cent of GDP, while the OECD average is 1.6 per cent and Germany spends 2.02 per cent.

“Innovation is a resource-hungry process, and manufacturers are finding that the results they achieve do not always match their ambition,” said EEF chief economist Lee Hopley. “Shortages of expertise, equipment and finance are holding manufacturers back.”

“We’ve seen year after year that manufacturers want to do more,” Hopley said, adding, “This ambition should be matched by government to ensure the UK continues to compete on the global stage.”

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