Manufacturing orders dip hits growth hopes

Tim Wallace
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THE ECONOMIC recovery has been put on hold as manufacturers reported demand is lower than expected in an industry survey published yesterday.

New orders fell in the last quarter according to 28 per cent of firms questioned by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), outweighing the 25 per cent who reported rising orders and disappointing hopes of an improvement in the quarter.

And export orders continued to fall, with a net balance of 13 per cent of manufacturers reporting a drop.

“The manufacturing sector may be past the worst after a pretty torrid 2012, but it still has its work cut out to return to sustainable growth in the face of ongoing challenging domestic and international conditions,” said Howard Archer from IHS Global Insight.

“Meanwhile, a further appreciable rise in manufacturers’ near-term pricing expectations to a 21-month high in January is likely to reinforce current heightened concerns over the outlook for inflation.”