The UK’s manufacturing sector expanded again in May, thanks to an improvement in export orders, says the CBI.
According to the organisation’s latest Industrial Trends Survey of 501 manufacturers, total order books were weaker than the previous month, but were still well above average.
However, export order books were above average, matching February’s six-month high. The strength was reasonably broad-based, with export orders above average in 12 of the 18 sectors surveyed, while the gap between total and export order books narrowed sharply.
Growth in output volumes recovered from April’s twenty-two month low in May, but remained relatively modest. Expectations for the coming three months are at a similar level to the previous month, remaining somewhat above average.
“Things are looking up for our manufacturers, with growth continuing and export orders improving,” commented Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics.
“Some of this could be down to an improvement in the Eurozone’s momentum - but the strengthening pound is still proving quite a challenge.
“To drive trade progress forwards, we want to see the new Government recommit to an ambitious, long-term export target to fully unlock the UK’s potential. Doing this will be vital to boosting investment, jobs and growth right across the country.”