UK manufacturing sector is bouncing back, says CBI

The UK manufacturing sector is showing signs of bouncing back from the fragile conditions seen at the end of 2011 and start of 2012, and sentiment has improved for the first time in a year, the CBI said today.

Orders and output volumes showed modest increases in the three months to April, and momentum is expected to build further in the coming three months.

Of the 394 manufacturers responding to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, 35 per cent said that total orders rose, while 26 per cent said that they fell.

The resulting rounded balance of +8 per cent shows that total orders increased modestly in the three months to April, returning to growth rates similar to those seen in the second half of 2011.

Output also showed modest growth in the quarter to April, with a balance of +5 per cent.

The balance of companies reporting they were more optimistic about the general business situation than three months ago (+22 per cent) was at its highest since April 2010 (+24 per cent).

Looking ahead to the coming three months, manufacturers expect both output growth (+24 per cent) and total orders growth (+24 per cent) to strengthen further.