Manufacturing order books were stable and close to a 30 year high in the three months to December, according to the latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends Survey.
In the survey of 371 manufacturers, strong overall order books were driven by Motor Vehicles and Transport Equipment, and Mechanical Engineering sectors, although the strength was broad-based with 14 out of 17 sub-sectorsreporting that order books were above normal. Export order books weakened slightly compared with November’s record levels, but remained strong.
Output growth was steady at a brisk pace in the three months to December, at a rate that was far above the long-run average.
However, respondents still expect output growth to moderate over the next quarter.
Manufacturers expect output prices to rise at the fastest rate since June in the quarter ahead, while stock adequacy deteriorated to below its long-run average.
Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Intelligence, said:
“As we head towards the end of 2017, UK manufacturers’ total order books remain at a near 30 high, with export order books remaining at their strongest since the mid-1990s.
“While the lower level of sterling continues to support exporters, cost pressures remain intense. Businesses will expect to see the Government’s Industrial Strategy make rapid progress next year to support manufacturing and the wider economy in every corner of the UK.”