| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

Home 
 
 News
 Irish
 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 International
 Property
 Innovation
 
 Analysis/Comment
 
 Asia Economy

RSS FEED


How to use our RSS feed

Follow Finfacts on Twitter

 
Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.

Welcome

Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.

Links

Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax - Income/Corporate

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News

Newspapers

Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News

 

Feedback

 

Content Management by interactivetools.com.

News : UK Economy Last Updated: Oct 25, 2012 - 7:32 AM


UK manufacturing orders fell in the three months to October; Output was flat
By Finfacts Team
Oct 24, 2012 - 3:52 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

UK manufacturing orders fell in the three months to October, while output was flat, the CBI, Britain's leading business lobby group, said today.

However, expectations for both orders and output over the next three months are for moderate growth, while the employment and investment picture remains relatively positive.

Of the 395 manufacturers responding to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, 25% said output rose, while 28% said it fell. The resulting balance of -3% is the lowest since October 2009 (-8%), and disappointed expectations of growth (+11%). However, over the next three months, manufacturers do expect a moderate recovery in output, with a balance of +12%, which, if realised, would be the strongest growth since the three months to January 2011.

The volume of total orders fell unexpectedly over the last three months, with both domestic orders (-10%) and export orders (-17%) dropping below their long-run averages (balances of -7% and -8% respectively). Nonetheless, expectations for the coming three months have not been dented by these results: expectations for domestic orders growth remain unchanged relative to the previous quarter (+4%), while export orders are once again expected to be broadly flat (+2%).

However, the survey suggests that concerns about political and economic conditions abroad have risen. The proportion of firms citing this as the factor most likely to limit export orders increased from 25% in the three months to July to 34%, well-above the long-run average of 22%.

In line with somewhat softer activity, optimism regarding the business situation and export prospects for the year ahead both deteriorated (-12% and -19%). Furthermore, concern grew over orders and sales acting as a constraint on output in the coming three months (cited by 74% of firms, compared to 62% in the three months to July).

However, other indicators in the survey held up somewhat better. Numbers employed rose for the ninth-consecutive quarter (+5%), the longest run of rising headcount in the quarterly survey’s history (since 1972).

On the whole, investment intentions for the year ahead also saw a small improvement. In particular, a balance of +22% of respondents intend to invest more in product and process innovation compared to the previous 12 months, while +14% are planning to increase spending on training and retraining. Even though firms still plan to spend less on buildings and plant & machinery relative to the past 12 months (with balances of -12% and -4% respectively), investment intentions for this category have not deteriorated any further from the previous quarter.

Anna Leach, CBI head of Economic Analysis, said: “Domestic and overseas demand have both slipped unexpectedly this quarter, while output growth has tailed off. Sentiment regarding business conditions has also fallen back, particularly for exports. UK companies are increasingly concerned by political and economic conditions abroad, whether it is ongoing weakness and uncertainty in the Eurozone or the approaching fiscal cliff in the US.

“Nevertheless, underlying conditions seem relatively stable in this survey. Employment has continued to rise, investment intentions remain reasonably healthy, and expectations for output and orders have held up.”

Stocks of finished goods rose in the past three months (+10%) for the third quarter in a row, ahead of expectations that they would be flat (0%). They are expected to fall in the next quarter (-7%).

Average unit cost growth rebounded this quarter (+20%), following last quarter’s eight-year low (0%). Growth in unit costs is expected to moderate somewhat in the next three months (+11%).

Despite the solid rise in costs, manufacturers’ export prices fell (-11%) in line with their long-run average rate (-9%), while domestic prices were broadly flat (-3%), suggesting a renewed squeeze on margins. In the coming three months, firms expect domestic price inflation to pick up (+7%), while export prices are expected to continue to edge down (-6%).

Elsewhere, spare capacity increased a little over the past three months, with 57% of manufacturers working below capacity compared to 52% in July. Furthermore, expanding capacity has fallen back as a motivation for investment in the year ahead (cited by 35% of respondents, compared to 42% in July), with firms increasingly looking to improve the efficiency of their operations (64%), and replace equipment (52%).

Check out our subscription service, Finfacts Premium , at a low annual charge of €25 - - if you are a regular user of Finfacts, 50 euro cent a week is hardly a huge ask to support the service.

Related Articles
Related Articles


© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

UK Economy
Latest Headlines
UK in 28th rank of 30 advanced OECD nations for health resourcing: Economist Intelligence Unit
Business on a Shoestring: Keeping startup costs low in UK and Ireland
UK "underlying growth has stopped"
41,000 London properties held by foreign companies - 90% in tax havens
UK GDP rose 2.6% in 2014 up from 1.7% in 2013
Northern Ireland private economy contracted in December 2014
Northern Ireland may have a 12.5% corporation tax rate from 2017
UK moves ahead on 'Google tax' despite criticism
PwC charged with "selling tax avoidance on an industrial scale"; indulging in "scams"
Income inequality damages economies; Rich-poor gap highest in 30 years
Cameron warns of risk of another global recession
Only 80,000 of 1.1m UK jobs added since 2008 were full-time employee positions
UK added 112,000 jobs in third quarter; Pay inches above inflation - first time in 5 years
Germany and UK agree to restrict 'patent box' tax incentives to local R&D
German retailer Aldi to create 35,000 new jobs in UK by 2022
UK GDP growth slowed in the three months to September
UK retail sales fell in September; Tesco, Debenhams, Foxtons report market stress
UK faces more austerity and less chance of tax cuts
Globalization, the underclass and the need for a new model - Part 2
Northern Ireland PMI shows sharp increase in activity
UK economic growth revised up - above pre-recession level
London world’s most expensive city for companies to locate employees
UK retail sales in August best performance since January
UK economy added more net jobs in past 4 years than rest of the EU combined
UK to announce stiffer penalties for offshore tax evaders
UK economy since launch of the euro in 1999
IMF says British pound overvalued
UK profit warnings reach highest first half total since 2011
UK GDP up 3.1% in 12 months to end Q2 2014; Economy overtakes pre-crisis 2008 peak
Wealthy foreign students overtake finance professionals as renters in prime Central London areas
UK attracts most inward investment projects since records began in 1980s
Trends in UK and US part-time and self employment since 2008
UK labour participation at 73% - highest in decade; US at 63% - lowest since 1978
More than 20,000 client names of Jersey tax haven bank leaked
UK house prices overtook their 2007 peak in Q2 2014
UK recovery continues at robust pace
UK employment rose again at a record pace in the three months to April
UK tax revenues rose to record in 2013/2014 with help from tax dodgers
Overseas visits to London in 2013, up 43.5% in 10 years
UK economy grew 0.8% in Q1 2014; Almost back to 2008 peak