Results of the CBI’s recent survey of manufacturing prospects suggest that exports have had a big influence, possibly due to the weakness of the pound sterling.
Export orders for UK manufacturers increased to +11 from +2 – there was a month-on-month improvement in 10 of the 17 manufacturing sub-sectors. Mechanical engineering and aerospace saw the biggest improvements.
During the coming quarter, 38 per cent predict growth versus 7 per cent who expect decline, giving a rounded balance of +30.
Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said the data appeared “largely encouraging”. However, the question remains whether the survey findings will translate into hard output data.
“A notable feature of 2017 so far has been that the manufacturing surveys have been appreciably stronger then hard data from the (Office for National Statistics),” he said.