Most recently, news broke that the fourth quarter of 2009 saw an end to the recession, according to ONS figures released on 26 January.
Welcome news, but even before this, positive information about manufacturing had started to find its way into the headlines. "Manufacturers move production back to UK", said the BBC; "Manufacturing figures show recovery in December", The Guardian reported; "UK manufacturing bounce-back is silver lining in GDP figures", blurted Sky News; "UK manufacturing grows at fastest pace in two years" The Telegraph voiced; "Upbeat start to year sparks hope for manufacturing recovery", The Independent intoned.
To that can be added the CBI's most recent survey result, which showed that "manufacturing production rose for the first time in two years as overseas demand for UK-made goods increased and stock reductions eased".
Government is also talking up manufacturing – in launching the 'Going for Growth' document, Business Secretary of State Lord Mandelson observed that: "For the past decade, we allowed ourselves to become over-dependent on the City and financial services for growth and our tax revenues. That is why, without wishing the financial sector to be smaller, we need other industrial strengths and sources of revenue to grow faster."
The biennial manufacturing technology show, MACH, is well placed to catch this tide of rising positive sentiment. To be held in June (7-11) at the NEC, Birmingham, this year event organiser the Manufacturing Technologies Association has spared no effort to make the show even more attractive to all elements of engineering-based manufacturing (page 16
Our MACH preview issues proper start in April, but pre-registration is now open, at the MACH2010 website (www.mach2010.com). Put June 7-11 in your diary/organiser/smartphone/Outlook now.
First published in Machinery, February 2010