The President of the Engineering Industries Association, Sir Ronald Halstead, has asked again for our help with a survey. He will be attending a meeting of the Genesis Panel at the Bank of England in March to discuss the prospects for SME's in the light of the current economic and financial situation.
Since the last survey:
- Sterling remains weakened against the Euro and US Dollar making exports cheaper and imports more expensive.
- The chancellor has abandoned the objective of closing the budget deficit by 2020 but still wants a progressive reduction to continue.
- The Bank of England is maintaining financial liquidity in the UK and the availability of credit to finance investment and exports. With the support of the British Business Bank (BBB) the alternative lending market is expanding. The EIA partnership with URICA is helping the cash flow for SMEs in engineering.
Costs will rise because of Sterling depreciation. Is the imposition of the living wage likely to be a problem for SMEs in engineering? Is Brexit and these other factors affecting our business confidence?
Your comments would be appreciated.