British manufacturing orders hit biggest high since the 1980s

Total order books for manufacturers have hit their highest level since August 1988, according to the CBI’s latest Industrial Trends Survey.

The Survey takes soundings from 464 manufacturers across a broad array of manufacturing, from food, drink and tobacco to chemicals and more.

Meanwhile, export orders reached a 22-year high, with similar peaks to those seen in 2011 and 2013.

While robust, output growth eased back to levels seen at the start of the year, largely thanks to slowdowns in the chemicals and mechanical engineering sectors.

‘Sharp rise in average selling prices’

Those pricing pressures remain strong and manufacturers anticipate a sharp rise in average selling prices in line with the level seen last month (+23%), having eased from their peak in February (+32%).

The news comes a year on from the UK’s vote to leave the EU. The long-term implications of ‘Brexit’ remain to be seen, as politicians begin to thrash out the deal in Brussels.

‘The Government must put the economy first in Brexit negotiations’

“Britain’s manufacturers are continuing to see demand for ‘Made in Britain’ goods rise with the temperature,” said the CBI’s Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith.

“Total and export order books are at highs not seen for decades, and output growth remains robust.

“Nevertheless, with cost pressures remaining elevated it’s no surprise to see that manufacturers continue to have high expectations for the prices they plan to charge.

“To build the right future for Britain’s economy, manufacturers and workers, the Government must put the economy first as it negotiates the country’s departure from the EU. This approach will deliver a deal that supports growth and raises living standards across the UK.”

Torque has a European manufacturing special in the September edition of the magazine – find out how to get involved here.

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