UK manufacturing export lowest for almost three years says lobby body CBI

Manufacturing exports are at their lowest for almost three years, which is “weighing” on the UK economy, according to research.

A survey of 458 firms by the CBI also showed that manufacturing orders stabilised in the past month, and output also recovered, although another small fall is expected in the next quarter.

Two out of five firms said their export order books were below average, with just 11% reporting they were above average. A third of manufacturers said total order books were below normal.

Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s director for economics, said: “Poor export performance is weighing on the UK economy, as manufacturers are held back by a strong pound and a weakening global growth outlook.

“To ensure UK manufacturers can pack a punch on the world stage, business will want to see the Government prioritise areas of growth enhancing spending - on exports, infrastructure, skills and innovation - in next week’s Spending Review.

“Furthermore, we would caution against the introduction of additional business costs that could hamper the competitiveness of UK manufacturers at home.”