New manufacturing orders fell slightly in the three months to April but output increased and firms are expecting orders to grow in the next quarter, according to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey.
The CBI said the decrease in orders was driven by a fall in domestic demand this quarter, the fastest pace of decline since January 2012, whereas export orders stabilised.
Employment in the sector increased in line with expectations over the three months and manufacturers expect to increase their headcount in the next quarter.
CBI Director of Economics Stephen Gifford (pictured) said the quarter was “a mixed bag for manufacturers”. He continued: “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.”
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2012.