MANUFACTURERS in the region have experienced a strong end to the year, a survey has found.

And the outlook as we prepare to enter 2022 is positive, despite concerns about rising costs.

Yorkshire and the Humber saw orders 38 per cent up, according to the latest quarterly manufacturing outlook survey from Make UK and business advisory firm BDO.

The region's manufacturers benefited from a recovery in the food and drink sector during the second half of the year, and demand for steel remained high following significant investment in infrastructure projects across the UK and overseas.

The performance is reflected in the jobs outlook, which is above the national average as companies hire to meet demand.

Also, investment intentions are above average, which is at least partly attributed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer's decision to extend the annual investment allowance in the autumn statement.

Fhaheen Khan, senior economist at Make UK, said: "As with the national picture, the big challenge for companies in the region – in addition to attracting and retaining talent – remains the escalating inflationary pressures which are forcing firms to raise prices, in many cases significantly.

"Our growth forecast for manufacturing this year was plus 6.9 per cent, down slightly from plus 7.1 per cent, and for 2022 is plus 3.3 per cent.

"While manufacturers in Yorkshire and the Humber can enjoy some festive season cheer, their spirits will be tempered by the eye-watering impact of escalating cost pressures which are leading an increasing number to pass these on to the consumer.

"Given the global nature of some of these pressures, there is little sign that they will abate anytime soon. However, companies will hope as we enter a fresh year that the pressures will gradually unwind, with the compensation being that demand prospects among their major markets continue to look strong."

Steve Talbot, head of manufacturing for BDO in Yorkshire, said: "Manufacturers faced a brutal ten per cent decline in output in 2020. This year, they have rebounded proudly with some record-breaking figures.

"Cost pressures – input prices, labour, logistics and inflation – are settling in for the long haul and will continue to impact manufacturers, however firms can enter 2022 on a significantly firmer footing than they began last year."

Make UK is a manufacturers' organisation with offices in London, Brussels, every English region and Wales.

It collectively represents 20,000 companies of all sizes.