Manufacturing performance stabilises, but still muted
The manufacturing sector stabilised somewhat in February, reporting little change on January’s muted performance, according to the CBI Industrial Trends Survey.
The survey of 497 manufacturers found that total order books remained steady after a fall in January, whilst export orders saw a very slight improvement from the previous month. Both now stand at around average levels.
Output volumes were flat over the past three months, a very marginal improvement on the previous quarter. Expectations for production over the coming quarter are again positive, albeit only somewhat above average and a little weaker than last month’s expectations.
Manufacturers expect a small fall in average selling prices in the next three months, with the metals, food & drink and chemicals and mechanical engineering sectors all expecting a drop in prices.