The UK’s smaller manufacturers are upbeat about their future production and sales prospects, according to the CBI’s latest SME Trends Survey. The survey of small and medium-sized manufacturers revealed that in the coming quarter domestic and export orders are both expected to grow more strongly and production is set to rise again.
The optimism follows a quarter during which total orders and the volume of output increased in the three months to January. Domestic orders rose, while export orders fell. Firms increased headcount modestly, while optimism about the business situation improved for the third consecutive quarter. Meanwhile, planned investment spending on buildings for the year ahead rose to record levels and that on plant and machinery strengthened further.
CBI Director of Economics Stephen Gifford said he believed that as the recovery takes hold, the investment cycle is starting to turn.
He continued: “It’s encouraging to see smaller manufacturers planning to boost investment, particularly in their plant, machinery and buildings.
“Orders and output continued to grow at a healthy pace, although not as fast as predicted. However, firms remain optimistic about prospects, with growth in orders and production expected to accelerate.”
Copyright Ken Hurst 2014