Manufacturing output and orders burgeoned over the last quarter, with export volumes growth the strongest it has been for two and a half years. That’s according to the latest quarterly Industrial Trends Survey published by the CBI on Monday 24 October.
The extensive CBI survey of 459 manufacturers reveals that competitiveness in EU markets rose at the fastest pace since the series began in 2000, with competitiveness outside the bloc also improving at the quickest rate since 2009.
Domestic demand grew modestly, while export orders rose for the first time in over 12 months.
The outlook for demand over the next three months is generally positive, with export orders expected to rise further, along with more modest growth in domestic orders.
However, concerns still persist about the availability of skilled labour, with almost a quarter of respondents observing that skilled labour availability could limit output over the next few months.
Optimism about the business situation fell slightly again following last quarter’s sharp decline. Numbers employed dropped slightly for the first time since 2010, and look set to fall faster over the quarter ahead, but investment intentions improved following the decline last quarter. Investment plans for the year ahead are now more firmly above their long-run averages.