The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has published their monthly survey of UK manufacturing, showing an easing in the recent downturn, Reuters reported on Tuesday, August 20.
Industrial order expectations from UK manufacturers reported a balance of -13% below normal. This was an improvement from the previous month’s balance of -34% and trumped a poll of economists who predicted a -23% balance.
The surpassing of the long-run average of -17% and the fact that factory bosses are not expected to increase prices in the immediate future lightens the picture. However, threats do persist.
The CBI’s deputy chief economist Anna Leach admitted that: “Despite signs of stabilisation in the data this month, UK manufacturers remain on the receiving end of a double whammy: the slowdown in the global economy and Brexit uncertainty.”
UK Manufacturing has seen some prominent crises in recent weeks, with the UK government stepping in with a £300 million support package to rescue British Steel and 4,000 jobs.
Not all of British Steel’s woes can be blamed on Brexit, however, the £15 billion Turkish firm poised to buy British Steel, Oyak announced this week plans to relocate another of their British based factories to Europe citing in part Brexit uncertainty.
Howard Archer, Chief Economic Advisor to the EY ITEM Club, a leading economic forecasting group, found a similar lack of investor confidence within the CBI report, tweeting that there “Doesn’t appear to be much sign of renewed stockbuilding in [the] survey”.