CBI survey shows UK manufacturing recovery is slow

By Nell Walker
According to the latest CBI Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, manufacturing in the UK is off to a flat start. Some of the key findings during Q4 of 20...

According to the latest CBI Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, manufacturing in the UK is off to a flat start. Some of the key findings during Q4 of 2015 were:

  • New domestic and export new orders were near-flat
  • Manufacturers do expect some growth in domestic new orders and output over the next quarter – export of new orders, meanwhile, is expected to remain flat
  • 23% of businesses reported an increase in total new order books and 27% a decrease, giving a balance of -4% (October saw -8%)
  • Competitiveness abroad deteriorated with a fourth-consecutive large fall in competitiveness in the EU (balance of -17%).
  • Competitiveness outside the EU also fell (-9%), but had improved on the previous quarter (-15%)
  • 25% of businesses consulted expect employment to increase, and 17% expect it to decrease, giving a balance of +8% which was a strong turnaround from October (-8%).


Doug Monro, Co-Founder of job search side Adzuna, said of these results: “Many communities and cities built on manufacturing – like Derby with its large engineering sector and Sunderland, a car manufacturing stronghold– are still dependent on the industry today.

"But not all workers are getting a fair return. Times are getting tougher for the sector. The strong pound is dampening orders from abroad, but the pound’s recent fall against the US dollar and euro mean exports to the US & Europe have promise.  Closures continue to be common and overseas competition is making its mark. The uncertainty of the upcoming EU referendum is also having an impact. A quick resolution would be beneficial to stabilise industry confidence. Financial prospects are similarly dipping.

"Manufacturing workers saw a 2.9% decline in average advertised annual salaries in November to reach £29,582 – placing them in the lower section of UK earners. Despite this, the industry does have massive potential. Vacancies were up from last year to 19,091 in November. Britain’s manufacturing should be a priority – production is the pulse of the UK’s jobs sector.”


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