The latest CBI industrial trends quarterly survey has been released, and reveals that the volume of domestic orders has risen at the fastest pace since June 2014.
The research shows that the 461 manufacturing companies asked are more optimistic about their business solutions and exporting prospects, and demand is expected to grow strongly. There are still concerns over skilled labour availability and the sterling’s depreciation, but hopes are high.
CBI’s Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith, said: “UK manufacturers are firing on all cylinders right now with domestic orders up and optimism rising at the fastest pace in two years.
“The weaker Pound is driving export optimism for the year ahead, but is having a detrimental impact on costs for firms and ultimately for consumers.
“The new Industrial Strategy can support our manufacturing base by offering a shared long-term vision for the key sectors and regions of the economy and evidence-based plans for government and business collaboration. The CBI and its members across the country stand ready to support the Government in achieving this.”
David Jones OBE, Chair of Deeside Enterprise Zone in North Wales, added his own expert comment: “We are clear that there are challenges ahead for the manufacturing sector in the UK, but we also believe that there is significant demand and opportunity for the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and cutting edge engineering skills in Wales, particularly in the aerospace sector but also more generally.
“The recent £20m earmarked investment from the Welsh Government to establish an Advanced Manufacturing & Research Institute in North Wales, on the border with the Northern Powerhouse has demonstrated the commitment to ensuring we have a thriving competitive industry base that works on a UK level by driving growth, skills development and jobs across the U.K. As we enter an uncertain period, it is crucial that we maintain this momentum and future proof the excellent work that has been undertaken to date by continuing to invest in the innovation and competitiveness of the sector, for the benefit of the whole of the UK.”