By Max Clarke

3 in 4 UK manufacturers are more optimistic now than they were the same time last year.

Muted UK growth has prompted manufacturers to cast their nets further afield, where many are reporting strong sales from emerging markets, Zurich Insurance’s latest Hazard Warning Report has today revealed.

While a lack of credit it frequently perceived to stifle UK businesses’ growth plans, Zurich suggest that manufacturers seldom cite this as a grievance.

Instead, the top challenge facing manufacturers is the uncertainty of the UK economy, followed by the need to break into emerging markets and — intrinsic to this sector - supply chain issues. At the bottom of the list, and perhaps surprisingly, only two per cent of manufacturers cited availability of credit as a key challenge to the future of their industry.

“This analysis shows, even in times of unstable growth, that not only are UK manufacturers optimistic about the future but unfazed by the rhetoric surrounding a lack of finance,” said Zurich’s Steve Green.

“The findings show that manufacturers have a cautious optimism about the year ahead, that they are excited to break into new markets but perhaps require the necessary insight and expertise in order to achieve this goal.”

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