Fitch Downgrades United Kingdom To ‘aa+’; Outlook Stable

– Despite significant progress in reducing public sector net borrowing (PSNB from a peak of 11.2% of GDP (GBP159bn) in 2009-10, the budget deficit remains 7.4% of GDP (excluding the effect of the transfer of Royal Mail pensions) and is not expected to fall below 6% of GDP and GBP100bn until the end of the current parliament term. The slower pace of deficit reduction means that the next government will be required to implement substantial spending reductions (and/or tax increases) if public debt is to be stabilised and reduced over the medium term. The Stable Outlook on the UK’s sovereign ratings reflects the following factors. – Under Fitch’s baseline economic and fiscal scenario, which assumes a continued policy commitment to reducing the underlying budget deficit and medium-term annual growth potential of 2%-2.25%, government debt gradually falls as a share of national income in the latter half of the decade. – The long average maturity of public debt (15 years) – the longest of any high-grade sovereign -exclusively denominated in local currency and low interest service burden implies a higher level of debt tolerance than many high-grade peers. – The international reserve currency status of sterling and the ability and willingness of the Bank of England to intervene in the UK government debt market largely eliminates the risk of a self-fulfilling fiscal financing crisis. – The gradual improvement in the UK banking sector’s capital and liquidity position has further reduced contingent liabilities arising from this sector. The UK’s ‘AA+’ rating is underpinned by its high-income, diversified and flexible economy as well as a high degree of political and social stability. The monetary policy framework as well as sterling’s international reserve currency status afford the UK a high degree of financial and economic policy flexibility. Strong civil and policy institutions and a high degree of transparency enhance the predictability of the business and economic policy environment that compares favourably with peers in the ‘AA’ category. Weak economic performance and growth prospects, relatively high levels of private and foreign as well as public debt, along with sizeable twin fiscal and current account deficits, are weaknesses relative to rating peers. RATING SENSITIVITIES The Stable Outlook indicates a less than 50% chance of a change in the UK sovereign ratings over the next two years. The main factors that could lead to a negative rating action, individually or collectively, are: – Failure to stabilise the government debt to GDP ratio over the medium term. – Increased threat to macro-financial stability, for example arising from an intensification of the eurozone crisis or an erosion of confidence in the UK’s policy commitment to price stability. The main factors that could lead to a positive rating action, individually or collectively, are: – Stronger economic recovery and rebalancing of the UK economy than currently forecast.

United Kingdom : Delcam s aerospace software and services on show at AIRTEC

These services can help aerospace companies whenever they need to increase productivity, to reduce lead times or to improve quality and consistency. The range of support from Delcam Professional Services is mainly intended to help any company whose own engineering resource is needed to maintain its existing operations. The services provided can vary from supplying extra design and programming resources when existing staff are overloaded, through to developing dedicated software to automate existing manufacturing methods or to establishing completely new turn-key processes for the manufacture of novel designs. Recent developments using Delcam software include a novel five-axis machining method, programmed with the company s PowerMILL CAM system, for the creation of “fir-tree profiles in components for turbo machinery, and the programming, with Delcam s unique adaptive machining technology , of a new hybrid machine from Hamuel Maschinenbau for the remanufacturing of high-value metal components, such as turbine blades. The novel method for the creation of “fir-tree profiles was developed in partnership with Iruba, a German provider of engineered solutions, and machine-tool manufacturer Hermle. It allows these complex shapes to be produced on milling machines, such as the Hermle C60 five-axis machining centre, rather than having to use specialist broaching equipment. The use of PowerMILL s trochoidal strategies to program the operation gives a number of benefits, in particular high material removal rates with lower, and more consistent, cutting forces. The Hamuel hybrid machine combines five technologies in one unit five-axis CNC milling, laser cladding, robot polishing, inspection and laser marking. Any of these processes can be combined, as required by the particular project. The equipment costs only a fraction of the price of a multi-machine repair cell, as well as saving on floor space. Using a hybrid machine, it is possible to remove the damaged area of a turbine blade by milling off the worn material and then build the material back up using the cladding technology . A second machining operation, using high-speed five-axis milling, then produces the final shape, with a smooth transition between the original part and the new material. Polishing and laser marking can be undertaken to complete the component, if required.