The UK’s manufacturing output growth stalled in September for the first time in two and a half years, according to the latest Monthly Industrial Trends Survey from the CBI.
Both total and export orders also deteriorated, the latter falling back to the lowest level in six months. Manufacturers’ expectations for growth in the volume of output over the coming three months are the weakest since October 2013.
“Exports are the missing link in the UK recovery at the moment, with the strong pound squeezing manufacturers’ margins, even though lower commodity prices are helping to ease cost pressures,” said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics.
“Meanwhile manufacturers will have an eye on China’s slowdown and its effect on neighbouring markets.”
The survey also revealed firms expect average prices to edge down further in the next quarter, to the greatest extent since August 2009.
“Boosting our export performance, alongside innovation, are vital to improving productivity,” Newton-Smith continued.
“That’s why businesses want the Government to protect export and innovation spending, alongside other growth-boosting areas, in the Comprehensive Spending Review.”