Manufacturing output volumes in the three months to March improved to broadly flat, which marked their highest balance since May 2019. That’s according to the CBI’s latest monthly Industrial Trends Survey.
The survey of 321 manufacturers found that output increased in eight out of 17 sub-sectors. Growth in the electronic engineering and plastic products sub-sectors was largely offset by declines in paper, printing & media and aerospace in the headline balance.
Looking ahead, manufacturers expect output to pick up rapidly over the next three months, with expectations at their strongest since August 2017.
Total orders books improved to their highest balance since April 2019, surpassing their long-run average. Export order books strengthened to broadly in line with their long-run average.