GB: CBI Industrial Trends Survey

Tue Nov 21 05:00:00 CST 2017

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Level 3 17 -2

The CBI's November Trends Survey was surprisingly upbeat about the state of UK manufacturing.

For a start, the headline orders book index jumped some 19 percentage points to 17 percent, its highest reading since August 1988. In part this reflected renewed strength in overseas demand as export orders climbed from 5 percent to 20 percent, well above their long-run average (minus 18 percent). Recent output (28 percent after 14 percent) was also markedly more robust and while expected production growth (13 percent after 19 percent) was down on last time, it was still very positive. Expected selling prices (17 percent after 18 percent) similarly remained firm.

Overall the new survey paints a pleasantly bullish picture of the manufacturing sector and, in contrast to the official data, notes the importance of the weaker pound. Even so, the CBI points out that uncertainty continues to hamper investment and cost pressures are still strong. Inevitably, it calls for additional help for industry in tomorrow's budget.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) produces a monthly survey (and a more detailed quarterly report) analysing the performance of UK manufacturing industry. This is the UK's longest running qualitative business tendency survey. Questions relate to domestic and export orders, stocks, price and output expectations with the main market focus being the domestic orders balance. The survey is seen as a loose leading indicator of the official industrial production data.

Started in 1958, this is the UK's longest-running private sector qualitative business tendency survey. The survey is used by policy makers along with those in the business community, academics and top analysts in financial markets. One of its key strengths is that it is released within ten days and prior to official statistics and includes data not covered by official sources. It is never revised. The data are also used by the European Commission's harmonized business survey of EU countries.

Monthly and quarterly