Improvement in trade

Orders rise, but Scotland not gaining from low pound

Bryan BuchanScotland’s factories have shown an improvement in orders, output and staffing, but the country is yet to benefit from the low pound.

After seven quarters of negative results Scottish Engineering, the trade body, says the improvement in the final quarter must be viewed as a pick up from a fairly low base.

Confirming a report in Daily Business in October, Scotland’s factories have not enjoyed the same benefits of the low pound as the rest of the UK because more products are sold into the rest of the UK than into the EU.

Bryan Buchan (pictured), CEO of Scottish Engineering, said: “We are not yet seeing the benefit of the weak pound due to the simple fact that the UK accounts for £48 billion of Scotland’s total exports, compared to £11.6bn to the EU and £15.2bn to the rest of the world, excluding oil and gas.

“What may provide a benefit to the Scottish engineering manufacturing sector is the decision by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement to increase spending on infrastructure and productivity.

“However, that is for the future and our industry needs more orders in the short and medium term.”

Staffing levels show that jobs have increased “quite substantially” more than the overtime levels.


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