Sentiment picks up across UK manufacturing - CBI

By Abigail Townsend

Date: Wednesday 24 Apr 2024

Sentiment picks up across UK manufacturing - CBI

(Sharecast News) - Sentiment across the UK manufacturing sector improved in April, an industry survey showed on Wednesday, as output steadied.
According to the latest Industrial Trends Survey from the Confederation of British Industry, output volumes were broadly unchanged in the three months to April, in contrast to the falls seen so far this year. The weighted balance was 3, compared to -10 in January.

Output rose in ten of the 17 sub-sectors, including aerospace and food, drink and tobacco.

Total new orders fell slightly, but at a slower pace to January's rate as the decline in domestic orders slowed.

As a result, business sentiment rose to 9 from -3 in January, with a balance of 11 expecting volumes to grow in the next three months.

Looking further ahead, optimism for export prospects for the year ahead strengthened, rising to 6 from January's -20, the highest since April 2021.

Anna Leach, CBI deputy chief economist, said: "Conditions facing manufacturers have taken a turn for the better, with sentiment improving and expectations for the future output growth their strongest in six months.

"A softer labour market has eased concerns that skills and labour could constrain output and orders. Concerns about access to materials and components are also at their lowest since January 2020.

"These brighter conditions are supporting a more stable picture for investment over the year ahead."

A total of 257 manufacturing firms responded to the survey, which was conducted between 25 March and 12 April.

A balance is the weighted percentage of companies reporting an increase minus those reporting a decrease.


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