Sterling's fall buoys United Kingdom manufacturers as export orders rise

19 Mai, 2017, 19:08 | Author: Marc Bacque
  • XWB engines designed specifically for the Airbus A350 family of aircraft are seen on the assembly line at the Rolls Royce factory in Derby

British manufacturing output rose at the fastest pace since the end of 2013, with firms confident of further improvements to come, a new survey shows.

Britain's manufacturers have seen factory orders jump to their highest level in more than two years despite concerns that the United Kingdom economy is slowing, according to a report. This was supported by both the mechanical engineering and chemical sectors. Firms expected production to rise again in the coming quarter.

However, the industry continued to grapple with pressure on prices, as the Brexit-hit pound pushes up the cost of imported materials. Nonetheless, expectations have eased slightly on their peak back in February.

The summer sun has come out early for Britain's manufacturers. "Robust demand at both home and overseas is reflected in strong order books, and output is picking up", the CBI's director of economics, Rain Newton-Smith, said.

"On the other side of the coin, we have mounting cost pressures and expectations for factory-gate price rises are running high", said Newton-Smith. Stock adequacy improved marginally, but remains below average.

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26% of manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal, and 17% said they were below normal, giving a balance of +9%. The EEF, which represents manufacturing firms, said last week that orders were improving as United Kingdom exporters enjoyed an improved competitive position "vis-a-vis the pound depreciation" and global growth picked up strongly from a dip past year.

The figures are likely to offer some reassurance that the big fall in the pound after last year's Brexit vote, twinned with a strong global economy, will boost manufacturers at a time when consumers are under pressure from rising inflation.

16% of firms said their present stocks of finished goods are more than adequate, whilst 12% said they were less adequate, giving a balance of +4%.

The survey was conducted between 25th April and 12th May.

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