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Britain is now the ‘lowest-cost manufacturing economy of Western Europe’

A new report from the Boston Consulting Group highlighted figures showing that Britain is now the ‘lowest-cost manu

facturing economy of Western Europe’. Since the 1970s, manufacturing companies in Britain have been working hard to regain the country’s reputation as a global manufacturing powerhouse and it seems finally these efforts are starting to pay off.

Stable wages for staff, more jobs and better rates of productivity over the years have all helped contribute to Britain now being one of the cheapest manufacturing locations in the western hemisphere. The report suggests that cheaper labour is spurring investment in the UK, which is in turn driving growth and therefore increasing the number of jobs available.

The main factor that is contributing to Britain’s manufacturing success is the wage costs, meaning the amount firms need to pay per unit of work. Over the last decade this has gone up by 16% in the UK but as a comparison, this has gone up 52% in France and 62% in Italy.

In an analysis of the top 25 countries exporting goods, America performed well. However, UK costs were only 9% above America’s, compared to other countries in the EU, such as Germany, which were 21% more, France 24% more and Italy & Belgium coming in at 23% more.

It may be still be that it is cheaper to get products manufactured in India or China, but once the energy, fuel costs and travel times have been factored in – the gap is certainly a lot narrower. Not to mention the benefits associated with tapping into society’s attitudes towards bringing manufacturing home.

These findings, along with general feelings of warmth towards UK manufacturing, mean that some companies are no longer outsourcing their manufacturing to companies in Asia and South America, which were once seen as low cost. We feel the future of UK manufacturing is a bright one and at Soumac we can help you with the manufacturing of your products right here on your doorstep.


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