MANUFACTURERS in the region have “fought hard” to recover from the impact of the pandemic and prospects for the rest of the year are positive, according to a new survey.

Research by Make UK and business advisory firm BDO found that manufacturing output in Yorkshire and Humberside had increased every quarter in the last 12 months.

And total orders in the latest quarter were described as “very strong” and “significantly” above the national average.

But Make UK says that whilst the findings are welcome, the figures reflect a recovery from a very low base – with balances having reached record lows worse than those seen during the financial crisis.

June Smith, regional director of Make UK, said: “Manufacturing growth is now firmly accelerating as economies around the globe have started to open-up.

“Looking forward there seems no reason to believe that this will not continue, assuming the shackles come firmly off in the second half of the year.

“However, given we are coming from a very low base worse than during the financial crisis. we have to bear in mind that there was bound to be a ‘rubber band impact’ this year.

“Furthermore, for some sectors such as aerospace, the limited prospects for international travel in the near future means they may struggle to return to normal trading for some time.”

Steve Talbot, head of manufacturing at BDO in Yorkshire & Humber, said many companies had made “great strides”. And some had been boosted by strong demand for steel-related products for sectors such as construction

“The region’s manufacturers have fought hard to recover from the brutal impact of the pandemic and have made great strides since the start of the year – with order books looking particularly strong,” he said.

“UK-wide, investment intentions have turned positive for the first time since the opening quarter of 2020. That indicates the Government’s introduction of a temporary ‘super-deduction tax’ has provided the incentive manufacturers needed to bring forward investment plans.

“We know targeted tax policies can have a huge impact. But – with challenges ahead around supply chains, availability of basic commodities and rising inflation – we need the Government to look at longer-term strategies to allow the sector to build back better and confidently invest over the next ten to 15 years.”