Order books down for UK manufacturers
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Manufacturers in the UK are reporting weaker order books, a development which the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says relates to a slowing in the rate of output growth.
Of 451 manufacturers questioned, 36 per cent reveal that order books are below normal, with 19 per cent saying it is above, according to the CBI’s Industrial Trends Survey.
The resulting rounded balance of -17 per cent is, the CBI says, in line with its long-run average (-17 per cent), but that order book levels of softened relative to the past three months.
Despite the imbalance on order books, the survey shows that export order books are remaining firm. Some 16 per cent of respondents say that levels are above normal and 29 per cent revealing that they were below. The rounded balance of -12 per cent is above the CBI's long-run average of -21 per cent.
Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser, comments, 'Domestic demand for manufacturers' goods has eased this month, leading to an expectation among firms that growth in production will slow sharply over the coming month.
'Export order books, however, are holding up, as UK exporters start to make inroads into high-growth markets. Nevertheless, if the crisis in the Eurozone continues, it is bound to have a dampening effect on sentiment in coming months.'
Relative to April, manufacturers expect output price inflation to be 'slightly firmer' in coming months, at a similar pace to earlier in the year.
The May 2012 CBI Industrial Trends Survey was conducted between 25 April and 16 May.