CBI reveals improvement in manufacturing order books

UK manufacturers expect modest growth in output in the coming three months, while order books have improved compared with August’s disappointing figures, according to the CBI.

Of the 425 manufacturers responding to the latest monthly Industrial Trends Survey, 28 per cent expect to increase their volume of output over the course of the next three months, while 21 per cent expect it to fall.

The resulting balance of +7 per cent is in line with the long-run average (+6 per cent) and follows the expectation last month of a flat period for output (zero per cent).

Total order books saw an improvement from August (balance of -21 per cent), with 19 per cent of companies reporting them as above normal and 28 per cent saying that order levels were below normal this month.

The rounded balance of -8 per cent is also well above the long-run average (-17 per cent) and back in line with July’s results (-6 per cent). Export orders also recovered with a balance of -10 per cent — well above the long-run average of -21%.

Stock levels rose to their highest level since October 2011 (+21 per cent), with a balance of +18 per cent reporting that stocks are at least adequate to meet demand — a little above the long-run average of +14 per cent.