The latest CBI Industrial Trends survey has revealed that manufacturing order books remained “robust”, with output growth accelerating.
The survey, conducted between 21st January and 13th February 2014 found that the total order books of the manufacturers surveyed improved slightly on January, although they remained below levels recorded in November and December.
Overall export orders also rebounded after a drop in January. The motor vehicles sector was the biggest contributor to the improvement in export orders, recording its strongest performance since October 2011.
Output grew at one of the strongest rates since survey records began in 1975, says the CBI. Optimism about output prospects also improved, with expectations for output growth over the coming three months at their strongest since September, with 16 out of 17 sectors expecting output to expand over the next three months.
“The manufacturing sector shows continued signs of improvement with demand high and steady and output growing strongly,” said Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Analysis. “Growth is increasingly broad-based and firms’ growth expectations are the highest for several months.
”As the UK and global economies continue to strengthen over the coming months, we expect conditions to continue to improve for UK manufacturers and to increasingly feed through to business investment.”