UK manufacturing order books were close to a 30-year high in the fourth quarter, monthly Industrial Trends survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed Monday.
About 28 percent of manufacturers reported that total order books were above normal, and 11 percent said they were below normal, giving a balance of +17 percent, which was the joint highest with last month and August 1988.
Manufacturers expect output growth to slow in the coming quarter, with 26 percent predicting volumes to increase, and 13 percent expecting a decline, giving a balance of +13 percent.
Nearly 28 percent of firms said their export order books were above normal, and 12 percent said they were below normal, giving a balance of +16 percent, well above the long-run average of -18 percent.
While the lower level of sterling continues to support exporters, cost pressures remain intense, Anna Leach, CBI head of economic intelligence, said.
“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.”
The survey was conducted among 371 manufacturers between November 22 and December 12.