Smaller manufacturers planning on growth – CBI

cbifacworkerThe 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


About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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