Robust demand in UK improves sales for smaller manufacturers

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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SMALLER manufacturers are seeing growth despite weak export demand, survey data reveals today.

Of the 437 small and medium sized enterprise (SME) manufacturers surveyed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 26 per cent are more optimistic than three months ago. This compares to the 13 per cent of firms who reported less optimism.

Furthermore, output volumes are getting stronger, with 32 per cent of firms seeing a rise in output compared to the 19 per cent who saw a decline.

The news comes despite 21 per cent of SME manufacturers experiencing weaker export orders – more than the 18 per cent who saw gains.

Domestic demand was strong with 35 per cent of firms reporting more domestic orders than three months ago compared to 20 per cent who said they were down.

“Smaller manufacturers are continuing along a steady growth path, with domestic orders and output both rising at a healthy pace. The sharp fall in the oil price should also help, pushing down the cost of production and raw materials for firms,” said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director of economics.

“But stagnant export orders are dragging on the sector’s performance, mainly because of the sluggish recovery and growing uncertainty in the Eurozone.”