New orders increased in the three months to October for the first time since July 2012, driven by domestic demand which rose at their fastest rate since January 1995. Export orders rose at their fastest rate since April 2011, while optimism around export prospects for the next 12 months increased strongly.
Alongside the improvement in demand, output rose modestly and is expected to pick up at a faster pace over the next three months, accompanied by a further improvement in orders.
Greater optimism and activity among SMEs has led to a step change in investment plans for the year ahead, with forecasts for spending on buildings, plant and machinery, product innovation and training all in positive territory.
CBI Director of Economics Stephen Gifford (pictured), said it had been a positive quarter for SME manufacturers, with new orders and output both on the rise, and further improvements expected next quarter.
He continued: “Optimism about the general business situation has improved and is now at a record high, and there is evidence of a general thaw in investment intentions for the year ahead.”
Copyright Ken Hurst 2013