Manufacturer’s order books reach 30 year high

Manufacturer’s order books tease 30 year high
Credit: Vadim Ratnikov

The rise in order books for the nation’s manufacturing has continued, with the latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends survey finding order books close to a 30 year high.

In the three months to December, strong overall order books were found to be driven by the motor vehicles and transport equipment and mechanical engineering sectors.

Moreover, the survey of 371 manufacturers, fund that export order books weakened slightly compared with November’s record levels, but remained strong.

Output growth was steady at a brisk pace in the three months to December, at a rate that was far above the long-run average.

However, respondents still expect output growth to moderate over the next quarter.

28% of manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal, and 11% said they were below normal, giving a balance of +17% (joint highest with last month and August 1988).

Manufacturers expect output prices to rise at the fastest rate since June in the quarter ahead, while stock adequacy deteriorated to below its long-run average.

“As we head towards the end of 2017, UK manufacturers’ total order books remain at a near 30 high, with export order books remaining at their strongest since the mid-1990s,” said Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Intelligence.

“While the lower level of sterling continues to support exporters, cost pressures remain intense. Businesses will expect to see the Government’s Industrial Strategy make rapid progress next year to support manufacturing and the wider economy in every corner of the UK.”