Small manufacturers welcome new positive lending trends

Small manufacturing companies in the UK have said they are finding it easier to access bank credit and loans for the first time since the recession, according to manufacturing industry body, EEF.

A survey carried out by EEF showed that the same proportion of small companies reported a rise in credit availability as reported a fall in April and May, marking a significant improvement on the previous two months, when the same survey measured a negative balance of 11 per cent of respondents reporting a decline in financing options.

EEF's chief economist, Lee Hopley, said they welcomed the news as a boost to UK manufacturing and to the economy as a whole, but said they did not want to tempt fate.

"For the first time since the recession ended, manufacturers are reporting improving access to finance," he said. "Hopefully, this will translate into better news on new lending in the coming months."

However a "sustained improvement" in access to finance would be needed before they can conclude "that the actions taken by banks and government are bearing fruit".

He added that medium-sized manufacturers were also seeing more positive trends, with their negative balance of eleven per cent decreasing to seven per cent in April and May.