CBI finds optimism soaring among manufacturers
By Rob Freeman | 23rd April 2021
Optimism in UK manufacturing grew at the fastest rate for almost 50 years over the last three months, according the CBI.
The business organisation's quarterly Industrial Trends Survey also found strengthening investment intentions, particularly for plant and machinery.
Business optimism moved from minus 22 per cent in January to plus 38 per cent - the quickest pace of growth since April 1973.
While output remained flat throughout the quarter, new orders were up five per cent - from minus 12 per cent in January - with both output and orders expected to grow in the next quarter.
Domestic orders grew at their fastest pace since July 2018 while export optimism for the next year strengthened after three years of decline.
Headcount growth, which also hit its fastest rate since April 2019, is expected to accelerate further in the next quarter.
CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: "Manufacturers have reported the biggest increase in optimism in nearly 50 years in this month's quarterly survey.
"Phased reopening has lifted the mood among firms, notably driving orders, employment, and investment plans."
She continued: "Rising costs are an increasing concern for many businesses, and seem to be putting upward pressure on prices as firms try to protect their margins.
"Continuing to support firms while they get on a steadier footing as restrictions ease will be crucial to recovery.
"The Government should continue to work closely with business to ensure reopening is a success, while boosting competitiveness over the long term."
Copyright 2021 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.