As many as 67 per cent of manufacturing businesses - a record high - are expecting their sales turnover to increase over the next six months. This follows 82 per cent of firms gaining new sales after introducing new products or services in the past two years.
The latest data from the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) Barometer shows that half of the 682 firms asked are planning to invest in new machinery and premises, up 12 per cent from the same period last year.
David Caddle, area director for the Manufacturing Advisory Service, commented:
Manufacturers tend to be very cautious and traditionally would have needed significant confidence in the long-term future to relax the purse strings.
Encouragingly, the latest Barometer provides the clearest indication yet that companies are prepared to invest in new machinery and their premises in a bid to remain competitive and take advantage of significant opportunities both at home and abroad.
Business and energy minister Michael Fallon MP said:
These findings are the latest indication that the economy is starting to head in the right direction, as we move from rescue to recovery. It is particularly encouraging to see that confidence is returning and manufacturers are becoming more optimistic about their future growth.