Demand for UK-manufactured goods strengthened in the three months to February, with order books improving, according to the CBI’s latest Industrial Trends Survey.
The survey of 471 firms found that total orders reached a two-year high, with the strengthening in demand led by the mechanical engineering and metal products sectors. Export orders remained stable and above the long-run average.
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 February 2015 (+10%)
19% of businesses reported export orders to be above normal and 29% below, resulting in a balance of -10%
35% of businesses reported a rise in output volumes, and 20% a fall, giving a rounded balance of +16%
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%, the highest since September 2013 (+33%)
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