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European manufacturers feel Brexit could be a lose-lose situation. EEF has warned that a report by the EU manufacturing association, CEEMET has found that a vote against the UK’s membership of the EU would represent a lose-lose situation for manufacturers in the UK and across the EU. CEEMET has set out the potential implications of Brexit and highlighted analysis which warns that Brexit could trigger a downward spiral in UK GDP growth for industry, with the worst affected companies being medium-sized manufacturers in complex global supply chains. CEEMET Director General Uwe Combüchen, said: “The analysis confirms our concern about the implications of Brexit not just for Britain, but other countries in the EU. We think manufacturers in the UK and across Europe will be better served by the UK remaining a member of the EU.” To read EEF's news release go to
The World Bank reports that cyclical economic factors dominated in 2015. According to a new World Bank Group paper, Global Trade Watch: Trade Development in 2015, by World Bank Group Economists Cristina Constantinescu, Aaditya Mattoo and Michele Rut, after dramatically declining in the first half of 2015, global trade recovered but at a slower pace over the rest of the year, so that world imports grew by only 1.7% in 2015 compared to 3% in 2014. “This paper builds on our earlier research that showed the global trade slowdown began in the early 2000s but has become more evident since the great recession, and had both cyclical and structural determinants,” the authors said. “Now we have found that in the context of the broader global trade slowdown, 2015 appears to have distinct characteristics compared to previous years. And our estimates suggest that cyclical factors dominated in 2015, accounting for approximately two thirds of the trade slowdown.” To read the World Bank's news release with a link to the full report go to
UK retail sales growth beats expectations of a slowdown. According to the CBI’s latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey, UK retail sales volumes held broadly steady in March beating expectations of growth slowing, Meanwhile, orders placed on suppliers also exceeded expectations of a fall in March and reported moderate growth over the year. Next month, orders are likely to remain steadfast and are expected to grow at the same rate. Overall, retail sales growth for the time of the year was considered to be at an average level. To read the CBI's news release go to
Number of larger UK businesses securing asset based finance up 25% in 2015. According to new research by the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), the number of larger businesses in the UK using invoice finance jumped by 25% in just a year, from 713 in 2014 to 893 last year, as they increasingly use it to complement ‘traditional’ sources of finance. The ABFA explains that around 80% of asset based finance is invoice finance, in which businesses secure funding against their unpaid invoices, while the other 20% represents the fast-growing area of asset based lending, in which, in addition to debts, businesses can raise funding secured against a range of other assets they own, including inventory, property and machinery. To read ABFA's news release go to
UK retailer net closure rate drops by 50% in 2015. Despite the rate of openings remaining constant at 13 per day in 2015, the rate of store closures across Britain fell from 16 closures per day in 2014 to 14 closures per day in 2015. According to PwC analysis compiled by the Local Data Company (LDC), 5,138 outlets closed in 2015 compared to 4,640 openings, equating to a net reduction of 498 shops. This is a drop of 50.4% when compared to 2014 where 5,839 outlets closed compared to 4,852 openings, a net reduction of 987 shops - the lowest closure rate in five years since the peak seen in 2012. It also represents the lowest levels of High Street churn - entries and exits – since 2010. To read PWC's news release go to
Late payments hamper growth of European SMEs. Intrum Justitia has warned that although global markets are awash with capital and interest rates are at record lows, a notable issue weighing on European SME’s financing are late or delinquent payments. In Intrum Justitia’s European Payment Report for 2015, almost a third of the surveyed businesses say that faster payments would enable them to hire more staff and one in four said late payments contribute to the need to lay off staff. Especially for SME’s, late payment often means that they would have to drastically increase their operating capital or have extensive credit lines to cope with the situation. To read Intrum Justitia's news release go to
BCC: Global headwinds and uncertainty slow UK growth in 2016. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has announced that it has downgraded its UK GDP growth forecast, from 2.5% to 2.2% in 2016, and from 2.5% to 2.3% in 2017; for 2018, included for the first time in the forecast, GDP growth of 2.4% is predicted. The downgrade is due to weaker than expected growth across most areas of the economy, reflecting a general global slowdown. Despite these issues, UK GDP is expected to expand at a moderate and relatively steady pace over the next three years. Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “The UK’s economic performance is reasonably good when measured against our main competitors, but it’s only mediocre when compared against long-term trends." To read the BCC's news release go to
Nearly two-thirds of UK mid-market firms back staying in the EU. According to new figures published by BDO, 65% of UK mid-market firms (those with revenue of between £10 million and £300 million) want to stay in Europe. The poll – which surveyed 632 British mid-sized companies – found that 70% of the mid-market believed that leaving the EU would make it harder to run a successful business. However, despite wishing to remain in the EU, mid-market firms would like to see further changes to the EU. For example, 63% of firms wanted less red tape and gold-plating of EU legislation to make it easier to do business, and 52% want the EU to have a greater focus on trade agreements such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the US and other high growth markets like India. To read BDO's news release go to
8 of 18 UK manufacturing sub-sectors posted a decline in output in March. According to the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey, activity in the UK manufacturing sector fell in March but production is expected to rebound over the next three months. The survey found that manufacturing output volumes over the three months to March fell at the fastest pace since September 2009. In total, 8 of the 18 manufacturing sub-sectors posted a decline in output. Two-thirds of this decline (relative to February) reflected weakness in the food and drink sector. However, manufacturers anticipate a particularly strong rise in output over the next quarter, placing expectations at the highest level for thirteen months, with a rebound in food and drink.To read the CBI's news release go to
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