The latest Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has revealed that manufacturing production and order books showed signs of stable in the last quarter, with a limited recovery in exports.
In the three months to January, both domestic and export new orders were near-flat, but that represented an improvement on the previous quarter, when orders fell. Manufacturers did expect some growth in domestic new orders and output over the next quarter, the CBI said, but export new orders were expected to remain flat and optimism about the overall business situation declined a little further, according to the 465 firms surveyed. CBI director of economics Rain Newton-Smith, said: “Manufacturers have seen a flat start to 2016 but while we have seen real problems in some industries in the last few months, there are signs that orders and production are stable overall. “Uncertainty around the prospects for global growth, uncompetitive energy costs and the strength of the pound have all played their part in UK manufacturers finding conditions tough when trying to sell overseas. “Over the longer term, strong investment in innovation and skills is vital to boosting our performance in exports, so it’s great to see firms planning to invest more in training and products over the next year.” The January 2016 CBI Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey was conducted between 17 December and 13 January. For more information contact Mr Steve Crowhurst: