UK manufacturing confidence improving, says Bibby index

The latest Business Factors Index from Bibby Financial Services (BFS) suggests that trading performance among UK manufacturers has returned to pre-recession levels.

According to the report, the manufacturing sector has seen its highest levels of output for five years, with the quarterly average jumping to 122.8 from 114.2 in quarter one 2012.

In addition, 52 per cent of manufacturing companies surveyed have seen lapsed customers returning, while 58 per cent have experienced an increase in the number of enquiries they have received.

However, 30 per cent of manufacturing companies believe the UK economy will not recover for another five years, and 63 per cent are planning to cut costs and overheads.