According to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey. optimism among manufacturers about both the general business situation compared with the previous three months, and export prospects for the year ahead, also grew for the second quarter in a row.
Employment in the sector continued to rise, recording the strongest growth in a year – this marks the 12th consecutive quarter of hiring, a survey record.
The survey found that both domestic and export orders rose – domestic orders recorded the strongest growth in a year, and export orders the fastest in more than two years.
Firms anticipate a further modest rise in orders and output in the coming three months, and expectations for growth in new domestic orders are at their highest since April 2012.
However, despite a further rise in optimism, investment intentions remained muted. Planned spending over the next twelve months on buildings is expected to be unchanged, while planned capital expenditure on plant and machinery deteriorated slightly.
Stephen Gifford (pictured), CBI Director of Economics, said manufacturers remained concerned about political and economic conditions abroad limiting export orders, which was likely to reflect heightened uncertainty over the global economic outlook.
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.