Responding to a slight fall in the UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) to 54.3 in June, Gordon Millward, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Regional Chairman, said: “Our latest Small Business Index saw a huge swing in confidence among manufacturers from -10 at this time last year to +36 in Q2.
“These firms have felt the short-term benefits of a weaker pound. But with operating costs for small businesses now at their highest in four years, confidence will fall if the Government fails to tackle the knock-on impacts of surging inflation.
“An increase in the Employment Allowance to £4,000 and a freeze on fuel duty would be good places to start.
“Securing the right Brexit deal will be critical for our exporting manufacturers. Almost all of our members that buy or sell overseas trade with the Single Market. Without an ambitious EU Free Trade Agreement and a frictionless customs arrangement alongside access to the right skills post-Brexit, these businesses will undoubtedly struggle.”