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Back Plastic News Industry Talk UK manufacturing orders fall but output up

UK manufacturing orders fall but output up

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Dampened by lower domestic demand UK manufacturing orders fell in the three months to April this year.

Ahead of crucial GDP figures being published tomorrow – which will show whether or not the UK has entered a third recession – the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said 28% of firms polled in its latest Industrial Trends Survey reported a fall in orders.

With 22% seeing an increase, the resulting -6% balance disappointed expectations of growth indicated in the organisation’s last study.

Yet while a fall in domestic demand hit orders, other data from the CBI's survey showed a balance of +5% of firms reporting an increase in output, and a similar positive figure expressed optimism for prospects in the current quarter.

Stephen Gifford, the CBI’s director of economics, said the last quarter was a “mixed bag” for manufacturers.

“Firms are expecting to ramp up production in the coming quarter on the back of an expected rise in new orders.

“Although weaker sterling has eased concern about international competitiveness, manufacturers highlight the potentially chilling effect of political and economic instability abroad on export orders, such as the Cyprus crisis.”

Meanwhile figures showed activity in manufacturing and service sectors across the Eurozone continued to fall in April.

A survey by research outfit Markit showed its Purchasing Manager’s Index remained unchanged at 46.5 last month.

Contraction was being seen in Germany as well as countries such as Spain, Italy and France, Markit said, and there was a risk that this negative activity could gather pace in the future.

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