Manufacturers step up production as orders rocket

 

Manufacturers are ramping up production to meet demand at home and abroad after enjoying one of their strongest growth spurts for two decades, industry watchers declared.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply’s latest snapshot of the sector in May showed manufacturers stepping up production to meet rising numbers of orders.

The revival fuels hopes of a long-awaited rebalancing of the economy towards manufacturing and trade. Rob Dobson, senior economist at financial data firm Markit, said the “sector basked in one of its brightest growth spells of the past two decades”.

Although Cips’ benchmark of overall activity in the sector, where a score over 50 indicates growth, eased slightly from 57.3 to 57, the pace of the manufacturing revival remains close to historic highs. Cips chief executive David Noble said: “We’re starting to see real evidence of a sustained recovery for the sector.”

The relative health of the UK’s industrial base contrasts with conditions in the eurozone, where growth slowed in all countries except the Netherlands.

The European Central Bank is expected to cut its main interest rate this week as well as introducing a negative deposit rate for banks, effectively charging them to keep reserves at the central bank, in order to boost credit.

The Bank of England wants to keep interest rates low for as long as possible while using targeted tools to cool off risks such as the housing market. Figures showing a sharp decline in mortgage approvals in April today offered ballast to that strategy.

The Cips survey showed manufacturers enjoying a broad-based recovery in international orders from the US, Asia, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand, spanning consumer goods, plant and machinery. Firms across the sector also took on more staff for the 13th month in a row.

Neil Prothero, deputy chief economist at the EEF manufacturers’ organisation said: “The sector is firmly on track to expand for a fifth consecutive quarter, its strongest performance in four years. Signs of a pick-up in export orders are especially welcome, as the broader rebalancing story still requires a significant boost in net trade to support the recent rebound in business investment.”

BNP Paribas economist David Tinsley said the survey kept the economy on course for a faster overall growth rate in the current quarter than in the first.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore