The UK manufacturing sector is showing resilience in the face of challenging economic conditions, with orders and output growth steady, says the Confederation of British Industry.
The UK manufacturing sector is showing resilience in the face of challenging economic conditions, with orders and output growth steady, says the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
Of the 398 manufacturers responding to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, 29 per cent report that total orders had increased in the three months to July, while 26 per cent note a fall. The resulting balance of +3 per cent is above the long-run average (-3 per cent), but a little below the +8 per cent balance in the three months to April.
Export orders weakened slightly (-6 per cent), but the balance is broadly in-line with its long-run average (-8 per cent).
Total orders are expected to grow at a similar pace over the next three months (+4 per cent), with export orders expected to be flat (0 per cent).
Output growth picked up slightly in the quarter to July, with 29 per cent of manufacturers reporting output volumes were up compared with the previous three months, and 21 per cent saying they were down. The resulting balance of +8 per cent is the strongest seen this year, and above the long-run average (0 per cent). A further modest pick-up in growth is expected over the next three months (+11 per cent).
Anna Leach, CBI head of economic analysis says that despite a further escalation in the Eurozone crisis, the survey shows some resilience in the UK manufacturing sector, with sentiment about the general economic situation broadly stable.
'Both demand and production grew steadily in the three months to July, and this is expected to continue over the next three months,' she adds.
'However, with Europe as our biggest export market, and while the Eurozone crisis continues unresolved, prospects for UK manufacturing will remain uncertain.'