It may be the end of the world as we know it, but it's not the end of the world. Fact: the global economy is experiencing unprecedented misery; the UK is considered already in recession and, closer to home, our industry is struggling more than I personally have ever before seen in my 20 years involvement. So to talk up positives for the sake of it, and urge everyone to look for the silver lining would be foolhardy. But that’s not to say we should talk things down for the sake of it either and invoke a self fulfilling prophesy.
Markets are contracting not disappearing, and the falls we are seeing are small in comparison to those we’ve seen in stock markets & house prices, and there are some positive signs on the horizon. Interest rates are widely anticipated to fall another 0.5% to 4.0%. Commodity prices are easing and there is a general expectation that falling oil (and associated energy) prices should soon filter through to ease manufacturers’ pain. As I write, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply / Markit Manufacturing Index showed that the UK manufacturing sector shrunk for the sixth month in a row, but remain above September’s low. So there are positives there. We just need to look harder to find them.
Downturns are an inevitable and essential part of the economic cycle – after all, without the downturns it would be a line not a cycle. The ‘corrections’ arising from a downturn sort the wheat from the chaff, and I am in no doubt that the companies in our sector who survive to the next period of growth will be the strongest in a much healthier market. Those with an eye to this future need to work closely with customers and suppliers to ensure that they are among these front runners when we turn the corner – something Edgetech is determined to help achieve on behalf of our customers.
Managing Director, Edgetech