Jane Montgomery, FSPA Managing Director, attended a meeting with Bank of England officials in London on 28 September where she was asked to provide feedback from the sports and play industries on the outlook for FSPA members over the next six months. The panel meets every six months providing the Bank with insight from business.
“The Bank of England gave a short overview of the economic situation,” says Jane. “They suggested that business growth for the next two years would be around 1.75% and, whilst this is sluggish and a slower rate since 2013, employment is good.
“Inflation was above the 2% target but this, they reported, was mainly from the exchange rate depreciation peak. However, inflation could rise to 3% over the next few months and then drop back down to 2% once the exchange rate depreciation in currency drops out of the inflation figures.
“There are uncertainties in the market and business is holding back on investment because of Brexit. The Bank of England was surprised that wage rises were still mainly below 2% due to full employment and skills shortages.
“I was then able to present an overview of the industry. Thank you to all those members from manufacturing, retail and distribution who took the time to contact me and provide their input,” says Jane. “This feedback is crucial as our respondents represented a turnover of over £10m and all those who took part exported.
“I reported that current business confidence is similar to or higher than the past six months for the sporting goods industry. Business growth is predicted to stay the same and members reported that demand from UK customers was flat – themes echoed by the other attendees.”
It’s great to be part of an organisation that campaigns for investment in children’s play facilities and which raises the standards of the entire industry.
Having the support of the FSPA behind us is tremendously beneficial and greatly enhances the offering to our membership.
I have been a member of SPE for many years now and every member shows a 100% commitment to promote participation in sport and play in the UK.
It’s sometimes difficult to get heard when you stand on your own. But when you're part of a respected body like the FSPA, people listen and things start to happen.
The opportunity to meet with like-minded people across our sector to discuss some of the challenges is always invaluable.
Working together as a group of companies creates a stronger voice for the play industry, which benefits both suppliers and customers.