Strongest growth in UK manufacturing since 1995

Posted on 22 Nov 2013 by The Manufacturer

The CBI’s monthly industrial trends survey recorded the strongest growth in output for eighteen years.

Released yesterday, the CBI’s industrial trends survey measured output, orders and sentiment among 350 UK-based manufacturers in the three months to November and found that output increased rapidly across all represented sectors bar one – electrical engineering.

Growth in overall orders was also at its strongest since 1995 with export order well above the average.

Looking to the next quarter, respondents to the CBI’s survey said they expect growth to continue at a robust pace.

Commenting on the positive survey results Stephen Gifford, CBI director of economics, said: “This new evidence shows encouraging signs of a broadening and deepening recovery in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturers finally seem to be feeling the benefit of growing confidence and spending within the UK and globally.

Carl Williamson, manufacturing sector lead at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Mid Markets, welcomed the signs of improving sentiment in UK manufacturing but cautioned: “Manufacturers, which have been buoyed with optimism in recent months, must not become complacent and should continue to invest in their operations, increase capacity and explore new markets if the sector is to reach its full potential.”

Key findings from the CBI’s November Industrial Trends Survey

  •  36% of firms reported that total order books were above normal in November and 25% said they were below, giving a balance of +11%, the highest balance since March 1995 (+11%)
  •  28% reported that export order books were above normal in November and 27% that they were below, giving a balance of +1%, well above the long-run average of -20%
  • The volume of output in the three months to November rose at its fastest rate since January 1995 (+29% balance)
  • Firms expect output growth to continue at a similar pace in the next three months: 44% expect to raise output and 20% expect to reduce output, giving a balance of +24%
  • Stock adequacy of finished goods was below average (+7%) for the third consecutive month, while expected price growth rose from October’s fifteen-month low to +5%.