'Long way to go' on industrial strategy says EEF

1 min read

A new assessment of the progress of Britain's industrial strategy from the manufacturer's organisation EEF suggests that "the outlook for growth has improved but there is still a long way to go".

The analysis shows the UK to be 159th in the world for business investment as a share of the economy, with such investment 25% below its pre-recession peak, contributing just 0.06% of annual growth. Other countries were making faster progress towards more balanced economy and, despite the UK's favourable exchange rate, net trade was lower than in France, Italy and Spain. EEF warns that, although the government has taken a number of positive steps to encourage investment in new equipment and research and development and to support exporters, there is only limited progress in creating a more balanced growth. In particular the analysis shows that there has been little improvement in the contribution of investment or net trade to growth in the UK. Despite a favourable exchange rate, exports in the UK have made less of a contribution to growth than in France, Italy or Spain and business investment has made a stronger contribution in the United States, Canada and France. EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler (pictured) said: "We're seeing more signs that the growth engine is up and running but we still need clarity of where we are driving. Industry is feeling more confident and is in better shape to deliver the investment and exports we need for a stronger economy and the government has taken steps to help it deliver this. "There are, however, still a number of risks of the economy being knocked off course. What we need now is absolutely clarity on where we are seeking to get to and, all of government pulling in the same direction to get us there."