About the Manufacturing Barometer

The Manufacturing Barometer is the UK's largest quarterly survey of small and medium-sized (SME) manufacturers.
It records trends in employment, turnover, and investment, and maps these over time to gain valuable insights into the industry. Each quarter, a ‘special focus’ also explores a current topic in greater depth. In the past, this has included issues such as productivity, overseas production, and energy efficiency.

How is the data used?
Survey findings are anonymised, aggregated, and included in quarterly Manufacturing Barometer reports. These reports are shared with regional and national government, manufacturing trade associations, and other influential stakeholders, to inform both future industrial strategy and the national debate on manufacturing. The Prime Minister referenced statistics from the focus on overseas production in a speech he made to the World Economic Forum at Davos in 2014 to mark the launch of ‘Reshore UK’. 

Responding businesses also receive a copy of the Manufacturing Barometer report each time they contribute to the survey, which allows them to compare their firm against others within their sector or region.


SWMAS has been running the Manufacturing Barometer in the South West of England since 2009.
Since 2012 the Manufacturing Barometer has covered the whole of the UK, produced in partnership with the Manufacturing Advisory Service. When this closed in December 2015, SWMAS continued the survey to represent an important voice of the manufacturing sector. 

The latest Manufacturing Barometer survey - April 2022

(Covering January, February, March 2022)

This quarter's special focus; Manufacturing Challenges, explores:

  • if supply chain disruption is getting better or worse
  • how increasing energy prices, and other external factors, are affecting small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses




All previous National and South West Barometer Reports can be viewed below...