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UK manufacturers show a glimmer of optimism

21 June, 2012

UK manufacturers’ expectations for a growth in output improved in June, while their order books showed signs of recovery, according to latest monthly survey conducted by the Confederation for British Industry,

Of the 459 manufacturers quizzed for the CBI’s industrial trends survey, 27% expect to increase their output over the coming three months, while 19% expect it to fall. The balance of +7% marks an improvement on the –3% recorded in May, though is still below the figures for early 2012.

“Despite facing continued instability within the Eurozone, UK manufacturers have seen a modest rebound in orders from both their domestic and export markets,” reports the CBI’s chief economic adviser, Ian McCafferty. “As a result, firms are expecting output to pick up over the next quarter, although the pace of growth is still expected to be somewhat lower than earlier in the year.”

The flow of orders saw an improvement in June, with 17% of the surveyed manufacturers reporting that their order books were above normal, compared to 28% stating that order levels were below normal. The balance of –11% represents an upturn from last month (–17%) and is above the long-run average (also –17%). Similarly, export orders also strengthened with a balance of –4%, compared to the long-run average of –21%.

Stock levels remain under control, with a balance of 16% of respondents saying their stocks are at least adequate to meet demand. This is in line with their long-run average (14%).

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