YORKSHIRE manufacturers are positive about prospects for the next 12 months, a survey claims.
The poll for regional development agency Yorkshire Forward showed 38% of firms expect the trading climate to improve while a similar proportion think it will remain stable.
The survey, conducted to mark the launch of Manufacturing Week, said this optimism had been created by better exchange rates, helping exporters and improved demand.
Expectations of domestic orders had improved across all sectors – but manufacturing in particular had benefited.
Despite continued challenging conditions, fewer firms reported a deteriorating performance in November 2009, compared with June 2009.
The survey provides strong evidence that market conditions are stabilising, with 22% of businesses reporting improvement in performance compared with 15% last June.
The survey suggested the recovery could be arriving just in time – as research shows businesses have been stretched to their limits by the recession and remain concerned about any further downturn.
Almost a third of firms polled feel that they are not well placed to weather another dip in economic conditions.
However, the recession has prompted more than two-thirds of firms to seek out new markets and customers.
Demand for finance is increasing.
Patrick Bowes, chief economist at Yorkshire Forward, said: “Manufacturers in the region are much more optimistic about business prospects in 2010, especially the ‘bounce back’ in new orders in the UK market.”