Slow month for firms’ orders as GDP announced

BRITISH manufacturers recorded lower orders this month, after a strong September, according to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) released yesterday.

The balance of firms reporting a rise in orders fell back to minus four per cent, from nine per cent last month, which was the highest since the crash.

However, 14 per cent more manufacturers expect new orders to increase rather than decrease in the quarter ahead. Stephen Gifford, the CBI’s director of economics, said: “The manufacturing sector has increasing confidence in the UK’s recovery with optimism about the general business situation improving to the greatest extent since April 2010.”

During the month, 32 per cent of businesses said that they were more optimistic than they were three months earlier, in comparison to eight per cent who were less so.

Samuel Tombs of Capital Economics said: “All in all, the latest CBI industrial survey provides more evidence to suggest that the UK’s manufacturing recovery is built on fairly robust foundations.”

The release comes ahead of today’s news on the state of the British economy, when figures for the UK’s GDP growth during the third quarter are released by the Office for National Statistics.

Many analysts expect growth to be somewhere between 0.8 and one per cent in comparison to the second quarter of the year.

On the outlook further ahead, Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said: “The economy does look to have established a genuine firmer footing and should be able to maintain respectable growth. Specifically, we expect GDP expansion to ease back to 0.6 per cent quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter and to then essentially be sustained in a 0.5-0.6 per cent range through 2014.”