Red Flag Business Snapshots
Disruption - automation won't destroy jobs
A new study by BT has suggested that automation could create rather than destroy jobs. Its survey of 1,500 IT managers discovered that a third believe that automation and AI will generate demand for workers such as software engineers and programmers. However, a similar number of respondents predicted that the technologies would lead to job losses. One in three managers polled also said that they are planning to invest in AI and automation.
Manufacturing - industrial output weaker than expected
The UK's industrial output rose by much less than expected in April, according to data from the ONS. Output rose by just 0.2% in the month, much lower than the 0.8% increase forecast by economists. Manufacturing output grew by 0.2%, which was also much weaker than expected. Separate ONS figures showed the UK's trade deficit narrowed in April. The goods trade deficit with the rest of the world narrowed to £10.4bn from £12bn in March, which was mainly due to a sharp fall in imports. The overall trade deficit, covering goods and services, narrowed to £2.1bn in April from £3.9bn the month before.
Manufacturers taking on workers
A poll of 2,109 employers by Manpower Group has found that employers are still planning to take on new workers in the coming months despite Brexit negotiations and slower economic growth. The survey found that a net balance of 5% were planning to increase staff levels rather than cut them over the July to September quarter. Employers in Yorkshire and the Humber were the most optimistic in the UK, with the region having an employment outlook of +11%, with hiring intentions jumping five points since the last quarter.
Pinstripe Print Ltd, based in Hockley, Birmingham, recently welcomed Birmingham Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe, to its premises.
The second of two Budgets in 2017 was cautious, with growth downgraded as a result of productivity showing no signs of improvement.