According to a poll released on Tuesday, British industry orders and output decreased while completed goods inventories increased. This survey highlighted the recent poor performance of the manufacturing sector but also suggested that inflation pressures will soon ease.
A more than two-year low rating of -20 was maintained in April by the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) monthly barometer of industrial orders.
The survey’s indicator of finished goods inventories increased to +19, the highest value since August 2020, signaling sluggish output in the next months.
Cost pressures decreased further, which is good news for the Bank of Engbland as it considers how much to boost interest rates to slow the rise in inflation.
Manufacturing business sentiment as measured by the CBI increased from -5 to -2 during the quarter. It represented the highest reading since October 2021, despite being in the negative range.
“increase in average domestic prices and increase in average costs per unit of output have now both slowed for four consecutive quarters. According to the CBI, manufacturers anticipate that domestic price increases would slow down in the three months leading up to July.
The only area of the economy that has shown growth since mid-2022 is construction, according to official data, which also shows that manufacturing output has remained mostly stagnant.