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Machine tool sector `will strengthen slightly`

01 December, 2002

Machine tools sector `will strengthen slightly`

There is a glimmer of hope for the beleaguered UK machine tools industry, according to a new study by the analyst MBD. The report* suggests that demand for machine tools will strengthen slightly during 2003 because of the need to repair and replace existing installations, and to adopt new technologies.

However, this "very moderate boom" will be short-lived and the market will resume its decline during 2004 and 2005. But, by 2006, MBD expects that the manufacturing sector will need to invest again, boosting sales of machine tools by around 15%. This growth is forecast to extend into 2007. Between 2003 and 2007, the overall UK machine tools market will grow by 3%, to reach £717m.

British manufacturers are unlikely to benefit much from this slight upturn. Imports now account for 80—90% of the UK machine tools market and this is unlikely to change, according to MBD. In fact, the value of imports will probably grow each year to 2008, except for 2003, during which exports are forecast to slip by 9%. By 2006, imports of machine tools into the UK will be worth around £634m and will stay at that level for a couple of years.

* The UK machine tools market development report. Price £495. Details on 0161 247 8600.




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