Recent figures have suggested that the rate of decline in the UK’s manufacturing sector is slowing, fuelling latest business optimism that the worst of the recession is behind us.
According to the latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends’ survey, 17% of the 575 manufacturing firms questioned believe that their output will increase during the next three months. Although 34% expect their output to fall over the same period, the variance of -17% is a marked improvement from last month’s reading of -32%.
Airing on the side of caution, just 10% believe demand will increase in the next three months with 66% of respondents expecting a further drop. The balance of -56% is similar to the figures recorded in each of the last three months.
Nevertheless, the survey has suggested that the brakes have been put on the economy’s decline; a sentiment echoed by this month’s CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index which rose to 42.9 in April, up from 39.1 in March. Any figure below 50 suggests the industry is in recession.
Business owners in the manufacturing industry will be hoping that the similarity in the findings of the two surveys are no coincidence and that the economy is indeed showing signs of a few green shoots of recovery.
In preparation for the anticipated recovery, it is worth manufacturers reviewing their existing funding to ensure their businesses are in a healthy position to emerge stronger.