Week 51 in Manufacturing News

Manufacturers Increasing Investments in Digital Technology; UK Economy: Manufacturing Sector Strengthens In December; Rebound in Eurozone Business Activity Overshadowed by Fresh Lockdowns; German Factories Prop Up Economy With Forecast-Beating Growth

Manufacturers Increasing Investments in Digital Technology in Response to Pandemic

The pandemic has sharpened the need for manufacturers to invest in digital technology to better predict the unpredictable, Paul Wellener, vice chairman, U.S. Industrial Products and Construction Leader at Deloitte, said as part of a December 8 briefing on Deloitte’s 2021 Manufacturing Industry Outlook.

In a post-election survey, 76% of manufacturers said they intended to increase their investment in digital technology, roughly three times the rate of 2019, Wellener said.

Source: The Manufacturer

UK Economy: Manufacturing Sector Strengthens In December, Pound Focused On Brexit

There will be some relief surrounding the latest business confidence data, although manufacturing was artificially boosted by supply issues and stock-building ahead of Brexit. There will be the risk of a fresh setback early in 2021, especially if no EU trade deal has been agreed.

The Pound Sterling was still being driven by Brexit expectations with the Pound-to-Dollar exchange rate trying to break above 1.3500/20 and the Euro-to-Pound exchange rate around 0.9025.

Source: Exchange Rates

Rebound in Eurozone Business Activity Overshadowed by Fresh Lockdowns

Eurozone business activity rebounded faster than expected after services companies benefited from a loosening of coronavirus restrictions in some countries and manufacturers gained from rising exports, according to a widely tracked survey of companies. The IHS Markit flash eurozone composite purchasing manager index, an average of services and manufacturing, rose to 49.8 in December, outstripping consensus economists’ expectations and climbing from 45.3 in the previous month. 

Source: Financial Times

German Factories Prop Up Economy With Forecast-Beating Growth

German manufacturing powered ahead in December, with global demand helping factories post a better-than-forecast performance.

IHS Markit’s monthly index unexpectedly jumped to 58.6, the highest level in almost three years, from 57.8. Orders across the goods-producing sector increased sharply, with many firms citing stronger demand from China in particular.

Source: Bloomberg