UK factories see biggest order books in nearly 30 years

Manufacturing
British factories are benefitting from an export boom as the pound weakens and demand from strong eurozone economies increases.

A survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) shows that 42% of manufacturers increased output in the past three months. Only 11% said they decreased, while 28% said order books are busier than usual.

A separate survey by the CBI and Pertemps Network Group states that 51% are planning on hiring to meet the demand.

The strong jobs market can be linked to this. However, households are still under pressure as house prices are overpowering wages but the intensity has eased slightly. The IHS Markit Household Financial Index rose from 43.5 last month to 43.9 this month.

CBI Head of Economic Intelligence, Anna Leach, said of the findings: “As we head towards the end of 2017, UK manufacturers’ total order books remain at a near 30-year 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.”

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