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Manufacturers expect output to grow strongly

22 May, 2013

UK manufacturers are expecting a strong growth in output over the coming three months, according to the CBI’s latest monthly Industrial Trends Survey. But the survey of 404 firms reveals that output was broadly flat during the three months to May, disappointing expectations for a more pronounced recovery.

The outlook is much brighter for the next quarter, with output volumes expected to rise strongly. Twelve of the 16 sectors surveyed anticipate a pick-up, with food, drink & tobacco, and mechanical engineering sectors being the most positive.

“Manufacturers remain optimistic that demand will pick up in the next three months, despite a recent history of disappointed expectations,” says the CBI’s director of economics, Stephen Gifford. “This tallies with what we’re hearing from some businesses about confidence returning.

“With orders improving and the global economy heading for calmer waters,” he adds, “it looks like conditions for manufacturers may be on the up.”

The survey found that:

• 13% of firms have order books above normal, and 33% below normal;

• 10% have export order books above normal, and 28% below normal; and

• output is expected to rise sharply over the next three months – the third consecutive month of elevated output expectations.

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