According to the CBI, UK?manufacturers expect to reduce output over the next three months while overall orders are fairly flat.

Of the 409 manufacturers responding to the CBI’s Industrial Trends survey, only 19% expect to increase their volume of output over the course of the next three months, while 28% expect it to fall. The resulting balance of -9% marks the lowest prediction in 2012 and is below the long-run average of +6%.

Despite the total order books remaining flat, there was an upswing in export orders. The export order book (-12%) moved above its long term average (-21%) and rebounding from last October’s low of -22%. This upturn was driven by mechanical engineering, food, drink and tobacco. However, the chemicals sector, the largest export sector in the survey, reported a sharp drop.