Commenting on the data, Mike Thornton, head of manufacturing at RSM, said: ‘This month’s findings uncover some worrying trends, particularly the build-up of finished goods. It does highlight active production levels, but the pipeline of new work from our domestic markets has slowed so we could see stock sitting, and production levels slowing in future months.
‘Having additional stock will also impact on storage and shrinkage, whilst tying up cash in finished goods. Although, this could help support increased demand from overseas as consumers and businesses take advantage of the low exchange rate; but at what cost? Will we see UK manufacturers discounting to clear stored goods and unlock cash?
‘Rising cost inflation, raw material shortages and supply chain pressure are also impacting the sector, and this is starting to have a negative impact on sentiment in the industry. As ever, clarity and certainty from the government are needed to drive confidence and investment within the sector.’