UK manufacturing continues to gain momentum

Growth accelerating - but at what speed?

Activity in UK manufacturing remained strong in May, according the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey.

Output volumes grew at the same rate as in the previous two months, with stronger growth anticipated for the coming quarter.

Out of 437 manufacturers surveyed, 36% said output volumes had increased over the last three months.

The report also revealed firms expect output to grow in the coming quarter, with 39% predicting growth and 7% a decline, giving an overall balance of +32%.

Total order books were above the long-run average. Export orders remained solid by historical standards but fell below normal, mainly driven by the chemicals and automotive sectors.

Katja Hall, CBI deputy director-general, said: “Overall, the manufacturing sector continues to perform well.

“Output growth is on an upward trend, with firms expecting an even stronger rise in the next three months.

“Inflationary pressures are under control, with firms now expecting only a slight rise in the selling prices of their goods.

“The recent rise in Sterling, coupled with a tepid recovery in the Eurozone could weigh on export demand.

“As the UK’s economic recovery gains a firmer footing, we need to ramp up manufacturing exports to high-growth markets, driving job creation here in the UK.”