Orders for Britain’s factories dried up as the slowdown in the eurozone and tension between Russia and the Ukraine led to a harsher climate for exporters.
The monthly snapshot from the Confederation of British Industry found that firms were reporting a big drop in demand from overseas – falling to its lowest level since the start of 2013.
Although firms said they had no immediate plans to cut back on output, the downbeat industrial trends survey from the UK’s leading employers’ organisation added to recent evidence that the economy will struggle to maintain the high growth rates seen in recent quarters.
Of the 488 manufacturers quizzed, 24% said their total order books were above normal for the time of year in September while 28% said they were below normal. The balance of -4 percentage points came after a +12 point balance in August and was the weakest for 11 months.
Against a backdrop of renewed stagnation in the eurozone, and escalating tension in eastern Europe and the Middle East, only 14% of firms said their export order books were above normal against 38% saying they were below normal.
Katja Hall, CBI’s deputy director-general, said: “Export orders for UK manufacturers are faltering, which is disappointing. However, it’s encouraging that output growth has remained solid and firms expect production to rise strongly in the next quarter.”
More than a third of companies (36%) said they planned to boost output over the coming three months, while 9% said they expected production cuts. The balance of +27% was slightly down on the +31% recorded in August.
via The Guardian 
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