Clearview Midlands February 2014 - Issue 147 - Page 72

BUSINESSNEWS UK manufacturing recovery retains momentum The manufacturing recovery remained on track at the end of 2013, as rates of expansion in production and new orders were among the highest in the 22-year history of the UK manufacturing PMI. Job creation was close to November’s twoand-a-half year record as firms benefited from stronger domestic market conditions, the index from Markit/CIPS revealed. Output rose for the ninth successive month in December, fuelled by an increase in new work and efforts to clear backlogged work. ‘The domestic market remains resurgent with higher new order inflows’ Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compilers Markit: “UK manufacturing’s strong upsurge continued at the end of 2013, with rates of growth in production and new orders still among the highest in the 22-year “With the manufacturing sector still some 9% off its pre-crisis peak production, the question everyone wants answering is whether this upturn can develop into a self-sustaining recovery. The news is still good on this score, as growth is coming from a broad base that should help keep the rebound on track during the early stages of 2014. PMI survey history. On its current track, the sector should achieve output growth of over 1% in the final quarter while filling around 10-15 thousand jobs, continuing its positive contributions to both the broader economic and labour market recoveries. “The domestic market remains resurgent and is a major factor driving production and new order inflows higher. UK exporters are also finding pockets of strength, with sales of capital and intermediate goods rising solidly to destinations such as Brazil, China, Ireland, Russia and the USA. ‘Output and new orders are rising across all manufacturing sub-sectors’ “Output and new orders are rising across all manufacturing sub-sectors and also at SMEs and large-scale producers. The strong performance of intermediate goods manufacturers suggests that firms are refilling their warehouses, while robust growth at consumer and capital goods producers indicates that household and investment spending are also still playing a key role.” FUNDING BOOST FOR NEW AFFORDABLE HOMES Housing Minister Kris Hopkins welcomed a deal that will release £500 million additional funding to build new affordable homes across the country. This new investment, secured through an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB), will help deliver up to 4,300 new affordable homes to rent. The funding will form part of the £3.5 billion Affordable Housing Guarantees programme, which enables housing associations to use a government guarantee to secure private investment at more competitive rates than they would otherwise. Kris Hopkins said: “This deal with the European Investment Bank is a vote of confidence in our ongoing efforts to restore confidence to our housing market and get Britain building. “This £500 million investment will help deliver up to 4,300 new affordable homes across the country, on top of the 170,000 affordable homes we’ve already delivered since 2010. 72 FEB 2014 Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for the UK said: “The initiative will significantly enhance construction of affordable housing by housing associations across the country.” FIRST BORROWERS Mr Hopkins also confirmed the first eight housing associations to receive funding through Affordable Housing Guarantees are: • Devon & Cornwall Housing Limited, who will borrow up to £85 million to build 887 homes in those counties. • Hexagon Housing Association will borrow up to £12.5 million to build 74 homes in Greater London and the South East. • First Wessex will borrow up to £88 million to build 589 homes in Hampshire and Surrey. • Great Places will borrow up to £50 million to build 674 homes in Manchester and the North. • Wales and West Housing Association will borrow up to £25 million t