Contract Manufacturing Index

It  has always been difficult, if not impossible, to put an accurate figure on the volume of contract and  subcontract manufacturing in the UK. There are no agreed definitions as to what the terms cover and  no way of separating them out in UK or EU manufacturing output statistics. With the introduction of  the Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index, we finally have a way of understanding how the market is  moving, even if we can only guess at absolute values

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How it is calculated

The Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI) has been developed to reflect the total purchasing budget for outsourced manufacturing of companies looking to place business in any given month. This reflects a sample of over 4,000 companies who could be placing business that together have a purchasing budget of more than £3bn and a supplier base sample of over 7,000 companies with a verified turnover of in excess of £25bn.

Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index - 2020 Summary

After a difficult year in 2019, the industry showed strong signs of recovery during the first quarter of 2020. The Contract Manufacturing Index reported growth during this period for the first time in twelve months, increasing by a staggering 69% from the previous quarter. This result puts January to March 8% above the 2019 average overall, although there was a slight decline month on month which corresponds with the worsening health crisis and the rise of COVID-19. Read more..

Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index - 2020 Summary

Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index - Quarter 4, 2020

Quarter 4's Contract Manufacturing Index showed a significant reduction in activity compared to its predecessor. Whilst Quarter 3's Index reported substantial growth after the first national lockdown of Quarter 2, the latest results have seen the Index shrink to a total value of £28,785,014, compared to £54,581,000 in the previous quarter. Read more...

Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index - Quarter 4, 2020

Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index - Quarter 3, 2020

A rise in outsourcing saw the level of activity surge during July and August across all three indexes, followed by a slight decline in September. However, the UK manufacturing industry is itself adapting to a 'new normal', with some of the manufacturing workforce working from home and projects therefore taking longer to complete. Read more..

CMI Quarter 3 2020

Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index - Quarter 2, 2020

It comes as no surprise that the second quarter's Contract Manufacturing Index showed a significant reduction in activity. As the UK weathered a national lockdown during April and May due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many industries came to a complete standstill, whilst others substantially reduced their manufacturing output. Read more..

CMI Quarter 22020

Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index - Quarter 1, 2020

Quarter 1's Contract Manufacturing Index bears positive results for the UK's manufacturing industry, as it displays growth for the first time in 12 months. Although it is lower than the first quarter of 2019, it is also 69% larger than the previous quarter, putting it 8% up on 2019's overall average. This hints that the UK industry is starting to stabilise following the political upheaval of the last four years. Read more.

Contract Manufacturing Index 2020 Quarter 1

Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index - summary of 2019

2019 started strongly for the Contract Manufacturing Index which recorded its second-highest result in eighteen months during Quarter 1. By the end of March, the Fabrication Index had grown by a staggering 66% on the preceding quarter, while the Machining Index had also begun to recover from its pronounced decline in December 2018. Read more..

Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index - Quarter 4, 2019

Quarter 4’s Contract Manufacturing Index has reported yet another downturn in the UK’s national outsourcing levels. The quarter started on a positive note, displaying heightened activity in comparison to Quarter 3; however, this proved to be a temporary recovery which can more than likely be attributed to stockpiling efforts ahead of the second Brexit deadline., Read more...

CMI Quarter 3 2019

Quarter 3’s Contract Manufacturing Index has recorded a further drop from Quarter 2 - a period during which the Index reached its lowest levels since its inception at the start of 2015. Although the Fabrication Index demonstrated slight growth from July to September, the Machining and ‘Others’ Indexes fell significantly during the same time period. This has had a detrimental impact on the Index overall. Read more..

Quarterly Reports

CMI Quarter 2 2019

Overall, the Index for 2019’s second quarter has not enjoyed the same positivity as its predecessor. The Index is now at its lowest since its inception in Quarter 1 of 2015, sitting at just 101 in contrast to a strong first quarter.

Read more here.

Contract Manufacturing Index 2019 Quarter 2

CMI Quarter 1 2019

Reporting the second-highest results in over eighteen months, Quarter 1’s Contract Manufacturing Index is overwhelmingly positive. Whilst the main driver behind this growth is the Fabrication Index – which rose by a staggering 66% and is now at its highest value since the Index began in 2015 – the Machining Index is showing month-to-month recuperation following a sizeable drop in December. Read more.

2018 Overview

2018 was a positive year for the subcontract manufacturing industry, albeit with some fluctuations surrounding the trends of the individual indexes. The first quarter heralded expansion for all areas of the index; however, the subsequent quarters were inconsistent in terms of success.

Read more

CMI 2018 overview

CMI Quarter 4 2018

Unfortunately for Quarter 4’s index, the growth of October and November was sabotaged by an extremely slow December, meaning that two out of the three sub-indexes reported an overall decline in outsourced manufacturing. The most pronounced case of this lies within the fabrication index, which experienced its worst month of the year in December

Read more

CMI Quarter 2 2018

CMI Quarter 3 2018

Whilst the second quarter reported substantial growth, 2018’s quarter 3 results portray a much more turbulent climate within the manufacturing industry. These findings are consistent with those of the Markit CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index, which also shows erratic fluctuations in manufacturing output from July through to September.

Read more

CMI Quarter 3 2018

CMI Quarter 2 2018

The figures for 2018’s second quarter are very encouraging, especially given the comparative 30% growth to its 2017 equivalent.

Read more

CMI Quarter 2 2018

CMI Quarter 1 2018

After experiencing a slight lull within the final quarter of 2017, the latest results show that the index is now following an upwards trajectory across the board. Whilst all three indexes have seen growth over the past three months, the main drivers are both the fabrication and the ‘others’ index (accounting for processes such as casting, toolmaking, finishing, plastics & rubber), with the machining index reporting less pronounced growth than its counterparts. Read more..

CMI Quarter 4 2017

The fourth quarter saw a slowing of both the machining and the fabrication markets - both of which had reported consistent growth over the preceding nine months. The index first showed signs of slowing within September, which set the general trend for the final quarter of 2017. Read more..

CMI Quarter 3 2017

Demand from the electronics sector pushed contract manufacturing up 25 per cent in Q3 Despite negative indicators such as the fall in UK productivity and decline in new car registrations, Britain’s contract and subcontract manufacturing market appears to be going from strength to strength. Read more

CMI Index Q2 2017

Building on strong figures for the first quarter of 2017, the subcontract manufacturing market edged ahead another 6.7% in the second quarter, with strong demand for machining in June offsetting a dip in May. Read more.

CMI Index Q2 2017

CMI Index Q4 2016

The latest Contract Manufacturing Index figures show that the market for contract and subcontract manufacturing was up by 12% in 2016 compared to the previous year, at 161 compared to 144. The baseline index of 100 represents the average value of the subcontracting market in 2014 – so the increase over two years is 60%. Read more

CMI Index Q3 2016

The contract manufacturing market was 19% down in Q3 2016 compared to Q2 but 21% up on Q3 2015
In contrast with more general indicators of activity for the manufacturing sector, the latest Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI) shows that the value of the UK contract and subcontract manufacturing market dropped by 19% in the third quarter (Q3) of 2016 compared to the second quarter (Q2). Read more.


Quarter 2 - 2016

Contract manufacturing market up 21% in Q2 compared to Q1 and up 72% on Q2 2015

The latest Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI) shows that the value of the UK contract and subcontract market rose by 21% in the second quarter (Q2) of 2016 compared to the first quarter (Q1), despite uncertainty in the months leading up to the Brexit vote. Read more

Quarter 1 - 2016

The value of the UK contract and subcontract market rose by nearly 8% in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the final quarter of 2015, according to the latest Qimtek Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI) figures.  Read more

Jan 2016

According to a our new manufacturing index, the value of contract and subcontract manufacturing in the UK engineering sector was 18% higher over the course of 2015 than it was in 2014.​  Read more

QCMI Feb 2016