UK manufacturing at record two-year high, says CBI
Quarterly survey is latest piece of evidence that British economy is picking up speed
BRITAIN'S manufacturers have cranked up production to its highest level for two years, according to business group the CBI, easing fears that the recovery is based solely on consumer spending.
In its quarterly survey of the sector, the CBI said that 37 per cent of firms reported rising output, compared with 21 per cent saying it had fallen. The resulting balance of +16 per cent was the strongest since August 2011, says The Guardian.
Some of the most significant rises were reported in building materials, metal manufacture and electrical goods.
Following the news, the pound increased to a two-month high of $1.5697 against the dollar. This has led analysts to predict a stronger improvement in the economy than forecast by the Bank of England.
An industrial revival was at the heart of the coalition's strategy for rebuilding the economy, with George Osborne promising a "march of the makers" in his first budget in 2010.
But Stephen Gifford, the CBI's director of economics, said that while UK manufacturers seem to be experiencing a build-up in momentum, "risks in the global economy still mean that it won't be plain sailing for some time to come".
Despite an improvement in the latest figures, manufacturing output remains more that ten per cent below its peak prior to the financial crisis. ·