scottish engineering companies remain optimistic despite a “roller coaster” period for orders and output volumes, a survey today reveals.
According to Scottish Engineering’s latest quarterly review, both order intake and output levels fell during the past three months.
It caps a turbulent 18-month period which has seen UK orders and export trade swing between positive and negative territory in consecutive quarters.
However, the survey suggests that member firms are optimistic about a recovery in the coming months.
Levels of optimism have risen among 26 per cent of those quizzed, while remaining flat at half of the businesses polled. Just 24 per cent reported a decline in optimism.
Among the other positive findings in the report are steady staffing levels and “healthy” investment in capital and training.
The trade body’s recently appointed chief executive, Bryan Buchan, said: “While it is apparent that order intake has softened, optimism remains positive as do forecasts for the next three months in terms of trading outlook.”
Buchan, a former Bausch & Lomb managing director in Scotland who took over from long-standing boss Peter Hughes earlier this year, said he had identified a number of skills shortages within the sector.
“Throughout the country there are unfilled vacancies for engineers in various skills from machine operators to design engineers,” he said. “We plan to initiate a range of activities to actively address this major inhibitor to our growth.”