Published on : Friday, October 25, 2013
Optimism among UK manufacturers rose at the fastest rate since April 2010 as orders and output continued to grow steadily in the three months to October. That’s according to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey.
The survey of more than 350 manufacturers reveals total new orders grew for the second consecutive quarter and output rose for the third consecutive quarter. Total new orders grew at the fastest pace since April 2012, with growth in the volume of domestic orders at its highest rate since April 2011.
Rising demand helped boost overall sentiment as well as optimism about export prospects for the year ahead, despite new export orders growing only slightly.
The investment intentions of manufacturing firms continued to present a mixed picture. Plans for spending on plant and machinery declined on three months ago but strengthened for ‘intangibles’ such as product innovation, where investment intentions were the strongest for six quarters. Meanwhile plans for spending on training and retraining were the strongest since October 1997.
Firms seem untroubled by inflationary pressures, with both domestic and export output prices declining marginally, while unit costs were flat.
Stephen Gifford, CBI Director of Economics, said “The manufacturing sector has increasing confidence in the UK’s recovery with optimism about the general business situation improving to the greatest extent since April 2010. New orders and output are continuing to grow steadily and expectations for the next three months are promising. But there are only limited signs of rebalancing towards exports or investment, with marginal growth in export orders and firms scaling back plans for capital expenditure on plant and machinery.”