The West Midlands' automotive industry is underpinning a growth in the region's manufacturing - bucking a mixed national trend with a delayed return to growth.
New research out today says Britain's manufacturers should not expect to see a return to stronger growth until the end of the year but the West Midlands' output has increased by a balance of +20 per cent.
The report, by the manufacturers' organisation EEF and business advisory firm BDO, says the West Midlands' automotive industry continues to be one of the best performing manufacturing sectors.
Prospects for the next three months are also positive, it suggests, with a balance of +27 per cent, with companies in the West Midlands intending to hire more workers with a balance of +7 per cent.
Across the UK, while activity levels remain largely unchanged from the second quarter, manufacturers' confidence about future prospects for the overall UK economy have taken a knock, leading EEF to downgrade its growth forecasts for both the economy and manufacturing for this year and 2017.
In contrast, however, the export picture looks more positive off the back of the fall in sterling and stronger demand from the EU, US and emerging markets.
In fact, export orders have exceeded expectations by moving into positive territory during the third quarter to +2 per cent - the highest balance since the second quarter of 2014.
Richard Halstead, Midlands director at EEF, said: "Manufacturers' confidence collapsed in the aftermath of the referendum but our latest survey provides some relief that this has corrected.
"Signs of an export revival are helping to drive more optimism about activity in the second half of the year, but concerns about whether the UK economy can shrug off post-referendum challenges are still clearly evident.
"These risks are expected to hit some sectors, such as industries linked to investment goods and construction, harder than others.
"Despite the short-term outlook for manufacturing remaining broadly stable, the continued downward slide in investment plans should keep policy makers alive to the potential risks facing the sector."