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Industry and manufacturing are key to economic recovery

20 February 2014 #Aftermarket #Bus and Coach #CV Sector #News #Policy #Sales #Top Stories #Trailer #Truck #Van

Industry and manufacturing are key components for ongoing economic recovery while the UK needs to ‘get to work’ and not rely so heavily on consumers and the City of London for growth.

Those are the verdicts of Chancellor George Osborne and the European Commission who have both called for greater investment for future growth.

In a speech to business leaders in Hong Kong ahead of his budget in four weeks time, Chancellor George Osborne said the economy was still too unbalanced.

A report from the European Commission also says an ‘industrial renaissance’ is needed to bolster ‘weak and fragile’ economic growth and to ensure the EU target for industry to account for 20% of European GDP by 2020 is hit.

The report found that services are growing faster than manufacturing and that foreign investment in manufacturing has been hit hard since 2008.

Osborne said in his speech, “We cannot rely on consumers alone for our economic growth, as we did in previous decades. And we cannot put all our chips on the success of the City of London.

“Britain is not investing enough. Britain is not exporting enough. Both business investment and exports are forecast to grow. But we can’t be passive observers of the forecasts. We need to roll up our sleeves, get to work and make it happen.”

The calls come as the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders report that commercial vehicle production was 14.6% down in January compared with 2013, although a stabilisation in output is expected in the second half of the year.

The British Bankers Association recently reported that too many transport businesses were reluctant to invest because they thought they would be turned down for finance.

It found that only 37% believed they would be successful in securing finance while the reality is that 67% would be accepted. The BBA is trying to promote more investment by helping businesses with finance, and challenging rejections, through its website

The value of apprentices, and the need to invest in them, is also being championed by government and industry. A properly-recruited and trained apprentice can provide a return-on-investment of 300%, reckons the Institute of the Motor Industry, while engineering apprentices also deliver almost twice the value they do in other sectors, says the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

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