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Flat start to 2016 for UK manufacturers

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Staff writer ▼ | January 27, 2016
Manufacturing production and order books showed signs of stabilising in the three months to January.
UK manufacturer
CBI   Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey
But there are limited signs of a recovery in exports, according to the latest CBI Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey.

Both domestic and export new orders were near-flat, but that represented an improvement on the previous quarter when orders fell. Manufacturers do expect some growth in domestic new orders and output over the next quarter, but export new orders are expected to remain flat and optimism about the overall business situation declined a little further, according to the 465 firms surveyed.

Total unit costs and domestic prices both fell back slightly over the three months to January. Competitiveness abroad for manufacturers remains under intense pressure with sixteen of 18 sub-sectors saying that their competitiveness in the EU was down on three months ago. Export output prices continue to post falls with firms’ competitiveness outside the EU also continuing to worsen.

Investment intentions have improved though, and firms plan to invest more in training and product innovation over the next twelve months.