CBI: British Manufacturing Demand Strongest In 12 Years

The Confederation of British Industry is reporting that book levels for manufactured goods is at a 12-year high.

Growing domestic demand has pushed total order book levels for manufactured goods to a 12-year high, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) latest monthly Industrial Trends Survey published Wednesday.

The February CBI Industrial Survey was conducted between January 23 and February 14, 2007 with 681 respondents.

A difference of four percent of respondents said their current total order books were "above normal.” This is the strongest figure since June 1995, which saw a difference of plus five percent, and a marked improvement on last month, when a difference of nine percent said total orders were "below normal.”

To meet the orders, output volumes are expected to increase over the coming three months, with a difference of 28 percent forecasting growth. This marks the strongest output growth expectation since May 1995's difference of 31 percent. Output expectations are greatest in the capital and intermediate goods sectors, but also buoyant in the consumer goods industries.

A difference of 19 percent of firms expects domestic prices to rise over the next three months, matching January's figure. Faster price increases are now expected in the consumer goods sector, while expectations have dampened in the intermediate sector.

"This is an upbeat survey continuing the trend of manufacturing recovery that started in early 2006,” Doug Godden, CBI Head of Economic Analysis, said. "In a climate of strengthening demand, businesses have finally been achieving some price rises and expect to continue doing so, helping to rebuild battered profit margins.”

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