The CBI’s latest Industrial Trends Survey has found that total order books for the participating UK manufacturers are at their highest level since August 1988.
The increase comes from improvements in 13 of the 17 industrial sub-sectors tracked by the CBI, with the drink, food, tobacco, and chemical industries making the greatest gains.
Export orders also enjoyed levels not seen for 22 years, mostly thanks to the weaker pound and a recovering global economy.
CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith, commented about the results:
“Britain’s manufacturers are continuing to see demand for ‘Made in Britain’ goods rise with the temperature. Total and export order books are at highs not seen for decades, and output growth remains robust.”
She also pointed out that cost pressures remain elevated, and cautioned that the government should prioritise the economy in the upcoming negotiations to leave the European Union if it wants to ensure growth and increase living standards for the UK population.
UK manufacturing may be enjoying a competitive edge from weaker sterling, but maximising productivity is still important to competing both home and abroad. According to Shell, the maker of industrial lubricants like Shell Omala S2 G 320, six out of ten companies do not clearly understand how effective lubrication can reduce unplanned downtime and maximise the availability of equipment. Shell also points out that while 43% of companies believe high-quality lubrication does not improve productivity, maintenance budgets can actually be reduced by up to 30% with better lubrication.