22 Jul 2024


Smaller UK manufacturers are planning to invest

The UK’s smaller manufacturers are planning to boost investment in equipment over the coming year, according to a survey of 335 small and medium-sized manufacturers conducted by the Confederation of British Industry. A balance of 14% of the companies quizzed for the CBI’s latest SME Trends Survey reported that they are planning to invest in plant and machinery – the highest level since July 1995.

The survey also reveals that that domestic orders and output increased in the three months to January, while export orders fell. However the SMEs expect both domestic and export orders to grow more strongly in the coming quarter, and production to rise again.

During the past quarter, employment levels rose slightly, while optimism about the business situation improved for the third consecutive quarter.

“As the recovery takes hold, the investment cycle is starting to turn,” comments Stephen Gifford, the CBI’s director of economics. “It’s encouraging to see smaller manufacturers planning to boost investment, particularly in their plant, machinery and buildings.

“Orders and output continued to grow at a healthy pace, although not as fast as predicted,” he adds. “However, firms remain optimistic about prospects, with growth in orders and production expected to accelerate.”