The last survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) revealed Monday
that the UK manufacturers' order books deteriorated more than expected in January
According to the report, the CBI's monthly factory order book balance fell
to -17 in January from -6 in the previous
month. The January figure was the lowest since February 2021
(-24) and below the long-run average (-13). Economists had expected the reading
to come in at -8.
The data also showed that the manufacturing output
volumes in the three months to January were stable after a modest decrease in
the three months to December (-1 compared to -9 in December), but were seen to rise
sharply in the next three months (+19). Meanwhile, business sentiment declined
for the fifth straight quarter, but at a much softer pace than in the quarter
to in October (-5, down from -48 in October). In other survey results, average
costs growth eased to the slowest since April 2021 (+64, down from +82% in
October), and was expected to decelerate further in the quarter to April (+53).
Average domestic selling price inflation also cooled in the quarter to January
but remained elevated (+37, down from +50 in October) and was seen to remain high
over the next three months (+41). Numbers employed increased in the three
months to January, albeit at a weaker pace (+14, down from +26 in October) and
is expected rise further in the next three months (+24).