Manufacturing output slows as material sourcing concerns rise

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Manufacturing output volumes at their slowest pace since March 2020 in the three months to October.

According to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey UK manufacturing output dropped in 10 out of 17 sub-sectors, with declines driven by the aerospace sector.

Its survey of 310 manufacturing firms found that total new orders were broadly flat in the three months to October, following a sharp drop in July that was preceded by five successive quarters of decline.

However, the CBI said that domestic orders picked up slightly.

The survey also found that a third of manufacturers are concerned that access to materials or components may limit their output over the quarter ahead.

CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith said: “Conditions remain tough in the manufacturing sector, with output and orders still down on the quarter, albeit to a lesser degree. The government must stay on the front foot when it comes to providing support for the sector and wider economy.

“It is more crucial than ever for the government to listen to the experiences and concerns of businesses and ensure support matches the tightness of local lockdowns. Additionally, signing a trade deal with the EU would help create some clarity that firms so badly need during this fraught period.”

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