CBI study suggests key sector is booming

Britain’s manufacturing industry continues to perform strongly, new figures suggest.

The sector is now enjoying the greatest demand for its products in almost 30 years, a trend driven by an expanding global economy and a fall in the value of Sterling.

The latest monthly snapshot, put together by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), has offered fresh hope that a resurgent manufacturing industry may mitigate against the squeeze on consumer spending which has followed the rise in inflation.

But while CBI officials are pleased by order book figures, which are now at their highest level since the late 1980s, there remain concerns about the long-term effect of rising prices.

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

Andrew Wishart, from Capital Economics, said the figures pointed to a strong performance across the second quarter of 2017.

“Today’s strong survey supports our view that solid manufacturing and export growth will help to offset the slowdown in consumer spending growth this year,” he said.