Forecasts for the UK’s plastics and rubber sectors in 2016 are optimistic compared to some of the nation’s other manufacturing bases, according to recent analysis.
Manufacturer’s organisation, EEF, says that its forecasts for overall performance in the coming year highlight the divergence of the country’s individual industry sectors, with some set to “overperform” and others predicted to “lag behind.”
EEF’s analysis shows that the leader sectors such as transport, in particular motor vehicles and aerospace, and the rejuvenation of pharmaceuticals continue to provide considerable reasons for optimism.
Indeed it is the automotive industry that continues to be the source of optimism for rubber and plastics, which is set to benefit from a more diverse demand base with a good chunk of output supplied to the buoyant motor vehicles sector.
In addition, continued innovation and demand for packaging, which accounts for almost a fifth of sector output, should lead to strong growth of 2.6 percent in 2016.
In contrast, the collapse in oil & gas activity, weakness in key export markets and strong sterling are providing considerable challenges for other sectors.
Commenting, Ms Lee Hopley, EEF Chief Economist, said: “Manufacturing is a hugely diverse part of the UK economy. Looking at the sector as a whole growth has disappointed in 2015 and we’ve seen overall confidence levels tail off through the year.
“But to get a true sense of where the sector stands going into 2016 we have to look at the variation in performance across different industry segments with some sectors enjoying a positive momentum, while others have been hit hard by global factors largely outside of both their and UK government control.
“Looking forward this divergence in performance shows no signs of abating though most manufacturing sectors should see positive growth next year, albeit at varying levels. Risks and opportunities will undoubtedly abound next year and our mix and the agility of the firms, with 2016 expected to be a more positive one for UK industry.”