Manufacturing Orders at two-year high
According to the CBI's latest Industrial Trends Survey, the demand for UK-manufactured goods strengthened in the three months to February.
The survey of 471 businesses noted that total orders reached a two-year high with a strengthening demand led by the mechanical engineering and metal products sectors. The output growth remained robust in the quarter to February and is expected to increase at a faster pace over the next quarter.
Businesses are expecting prices to rise over the next three months as depreciation of the pound continues to increase the cost of raw materials. The key findings of the survey highlighted that 27% of businesses reported total orders to be above normal and 19% said orders were below normal, giving a balance of +8%, the highest since the +10% increase in February 2015.
Furthermore, 35% of businesses reported a rise in output volumes, and 20% a fall, giving a rounded balance of +16%. Significantly, output growth is expected to grow faster over the next three months with 43% of companies expecting a rise and 10% expecting a fall, leaving a balance of +33%.