Global manufacturing executives rank the UK as one of the top destinations for future sales growth, ahead of established manufacturing economies such as Germany. The UK has risen to second place – ranked equally with China – as a country where global companies expect to derive the majority of their sales growth over the next two years. Only the US (45%) beats the UK (17%) which is ranked in joint second place with China (17%), according to KPMG’s Global Manufacturing Outlook.

Global Manufacturing Outlook, which surveyed 460 executives globally, also reveals that in terms of a country where global companies expect profit growth in the next two years, the UK is ranked third (16%), only marginally behind China (18 per cent), and marginally ahead of Germany (15%).

Stephen Cooper, KPMG’s UK Head of Industrial Manufacturing, said: “This is encouraging news for manufacturers in the UK and reflects the increasing confidence in the sector we have seen in recent months. The UK economy overall is showing positive economic signs, while comparatively, some of our overseas competitors are on more shaky ground.”

“It is also interesting that the global companies expect a higher profit growth in the UK than Germany. Germany traditionally has a reputation of being efficient in manufacturing processes, so one would expect them to rate perhaps higher than the UK as a naturally more profitable country for investors. The wider Euro crisis and European debt issues may still have a lag impact on Germany”

The report also found that manufacturers were making a dramatic move to 3-D printing technology to reduce product development life cycles. While 81% of global companies said that they were using 3-D printing in product development, this trend was even more marked with UK companies where 85% said that 3-D printing was used to speed up product development.