More than any other manufacturing sector, engineering is taking the brunt of the economic hardship imposed by the high value of sterling, according to a report out this week.
The Foundation for Manufacturing and Industry indicates in a paper that the export-led growth enjoyed by the engineering sector since Britain took the pound out of the ERM in 1992 has also left the industry disproportionately exposed to exchange rate fluctuations.
Turnover from export sales from engineering companies now stands at 75% of total sales, compared with 43% for manufacturing as a whole.
Since 1992, export sales in engineering have risen by 50%, compared to a 10% rise in domestic sales.
‘The high proportion of export sales to total sales suggests the engineering sector will be hit harder than other manufacturing sectors by the current appreciation of sterling,’ the report says.
The FMI reports that jobs in engineering have risen only slightly during the recent sales boom.