Export orders surge to 18-year peak

Export orders have reached their highest level for 18 years, according to the Confederation of British Industry's latest monthly survey of industry. Price pressures remain strong, although not quite as disturbing as had been suggested by the previous survey.

The CBI said 29 per cent of the firms replying to the survey had an above- normal export order book, while 16 per cent reported export orders below normal. The positive balance of 13 per cent was the highest since the survey began in April 1977.

Sudhir Junankar, the CBI's associate director for economics, said: ``British manufacturers continue to do well in overseas markets and this should support export-led growth over the next few months.''

Domestic orders were strong too, with the positive balance of 13 per cent the highest since December 1988. Firms expect output to increase faster over the next four months than at any time in the past seven years.

The price expectations revealed by the survey were extremely strong for the second month in a row, although slightly down compared with last time. A balance of 31 per cent of firms expect to raise prices in the next four months, compared with 33 per cent in January, and 15 per cent six months ago. The strength of price expectations in January's CBI survey was likely to have been one of the factors behind the Chancellor's decision to raise base rates on 2 February.

Kate Barker, the CBI's chief economist, said there were undeniable signs of slightly greater inflationary pressure, but they were not too alarming. Smaller companies, and those producing intermediate and consumer goods, are most likely to seek higher prices in the next four months. The industries where inflation pressure is strongest are pulp, paper and board, textiles, metals, plastics and rubber - all of which have suffered big jumps in the cost of their raw materials.

Ms Barker said: ``It is not surprising that some companies are attempting to raise prices, but it is unlikely that many of them will succeed, given the competitive pressures.''

The CBI also publishes its latest economic forecast today. It predicts growth of 3.2 per cent in national output this year - the same as the Treasury forecast. This is lower than 1994's 3.8 per cent expansion. Headline inflation is forecast to rise to 3.8 per cent by the end of this year.

Separate figures released yesterday showed a 1.9 per cent rise in engineering orders in the final quarter of 1994, to a level 10.6 per cent higher than a year earlier. Engineering sales rose 1.9 per cent in the quarter and 16.8 per cent in the year. Home sales grew more than export sales in October to December, reversing the pattern earlier in the year.

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
His band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionPart of 'best-selling' Demeter scent range
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Executive Assistant/Events Coordinator - Old Street, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assistant/Event...

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Derivatives Risk Commodities Business Analyst /Market Risk

£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Derivatives Risk Commodities Business A...

Power & Gas Business Analyst / Subject Matter Expert - Contract

£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Power & Gas Business Analyst/Subject Ma...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering