Manufacturing orders hit six-year high

The
manufacturing industry has hit a six-year high in orders, according to the
CBI’s Monthly Industrial Trends survey.

The
results contrast with the T&G union’s prediction of the death of British
manufacturing by 2030.

The
CBI study shows total order books rose to near normal levels in May, with
manufacturers reporting the highest balance since February 1998.

Twenty-four
per cent of firms said their order books were above normal while 23 per cent
said they were below. The positive balance of plus one compares with minus 14
in April this year.

All
sectors, apart from textiles and motor vehicles, expect to increase output over
the coming three months, according to the report.

Metal
manufacturers and electrical engineers are forecasting the sharpest rise in production.

The
CBI’s head of economic analysis Doug Godden said:  “All the signs in this survey point to the manufacturing sector
going from strength to strength as orders from home and abroad continue to
pick-up.”

However,
he warned manufacturers may still faced fierce global competition and might
struggle to restore their profit margins, especially in the face of increased
oil and other commodity prices.

By Michael Millar

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