The CBI’s latest Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey reveals that manufacturing firms are expecting exports to tail-off. The survey of 467 firms, carried out by the employers’ organisation the Confederation of British Industry, revealed that UK manufacturing businesses saw a rise in the volume of total new orders, led by strong demand at home and very modest growth in export orders.
UK manufacturing output rose at a similar pace to the previous quarter and it was notable that costs and prices fell, with unit costs edging down for the first time in over twelve years. Average domestic price deflation is at its fastest rate since 2010. Meanwhile, numbers employed in the manufacturing sector continued to grow at a solid pace.
36% of UK manufacturing businesses reported an increase in total new orders, and 17% a decrease, giving a balance of +20%
Export orders saw a return to growth (+4%) following a fall in the previous quarter (-7%)
27% of manufacturers said employment numbers were up, and 15% said they were down, giving a balance of +12%
25% reported a rise in output volumes, and 15% a decrease, giving a balance of +10%
27% of firms said they were more optimistic about the general business situation than three months ago, and 12% less, giving a balance of +15%