Survey points to rise in production

Manufacturers have seen a significant rise in production levels in the three months to August, alongside improved order books, according to the latest CBI monthly Industrial Trends Survey.

While firms have seen their positive expectations met on output, they anticipate an even greater upturn in the coming three months, the highest expected output figure since March 2011.

The survey of over 400 manufacturers found that total orders and export order books also rose sharply, with total orders at their highest since August 2011.

Key findings – month to August:

  • 25 per cent of firms reported that total order books were above normal and 26 per cent said they were below, giving a rounded balance of 0 per cent – the highest figure since August 2011 (+1 per cent)
  • The balance for export order books (-7 per cent) was the highest since June 2012 (-4 per cent), with 18 per cent reporting export orders above normal and 25 per cent below
  • Output volume rises were broad-based with twelve of the sixteen sub-sectors reporting rises, and strong growth especially within some of the smaller sectors – building materials, metal manufacture and electrical goods (balances of +49 per cent, +51 per cent and +51 per cent respectively)
  • Output volume growth matched the high expectations for the three months to August (+16 per cent compared with expectations in May of +18 per cent), with 37 per cent of firms stating volume of output over the last three months had gone up, as opposed to 21 per cent stating that it had fallen
  • Firms believe output will increase at an even faster pace in the next three months (+25 per cent), which compares favourably against the long-run average (+6 per cent)

Source: CBI