skip_previous play_arrow skip_next
00:00 00:00
playlist_play chevron_left
  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (128k) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Rother Radio (64K) Love Local, Love Music!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (128K) More Music Variety!

  • cover play_arrow

    Hit Music Radio (64K) The Best Variety of Hits!

Business News

Manufacturing outlook sunniest since 1973 as reopening boosts prospects


share close

Britain’s economic reopening has helped create the strongest pick-up in optimism among manufacturers for nearly half a century, according to new figures.

A balance of 38% of firms surveyed by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said their outlook on the business situation had improved in the past three months.

It was the first positive reading since January, last year, before the pandemic shut down much of the UK economy and the highest since April 1973.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

COVID-19: How is the UK economy doing?

Factories are also stepping up hiring, with the measure of firms looking to grow their workforce over coming months at the highest since 1974.

The survey found that manufacturing output was broadly flat in the past three months but orders for new work were picking up and investment plans were being accelerated to take advantage of a “super-deduction” tax break announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget.

Yet the outlook is being tempered by rising costs – blamed on pandemic-related supply disruption as well as Brexit-related red tape.

More from Business

CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: “Phased reopening has lifted the mood among firms, notably driving orders, employment, and investment plans.

“However, rising costs are an increasing concern for many businesses, and seem to be putting upward pressure on prices as firms try to protect their margins.

“Continuing to support firms while they get on a steadier footing as restrictions ease will be crucial to recovery.”

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, said the figures “generally supported the belief that the economy has started off the second quarter on the front foot as it benefits from the easing of restrictions”.

The figures come after Britain experienced its biggest annual economic slump for three centuries last year, with GDP shrinking by nearly 10% as the pandemic crushed business activity

It is expected to have shrunk further at the start of 2021 as lockdowns extended into the new year while cross-Channel trade slumped following the end of the EU transition period.

Subscribe to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

But forecasters are increasingly optimistic about the prospects for the coming months as vaccines continue to be rolled out and the gradual phasing out of restrictions brings swathes of the economy back to life.

Figures published by the Treasury this week showed experts were now on average predicting GDP growth of 5.7% this year, up from 4.8% a month earlier.

Yet many businesses remain in peril, with a survey on Thursday showing that the first quarter had seen the largest jump in the number of firms in significant financial distress since 2014.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

Previous post

UK News

‘A fitting end to an illustrious career’: Accolade for retiring police pooch after heroic chase

A police dog and his handler have received an award after tracking down hit and run suspects more than two miles (3.2km) away from the incident.British Transport Police (BTP) constable Raymond Martin had been driving along the M8 to Edinburgh on 27 May, last year, when he encountered a car on its roof between the hard shoulder and inside lane. After speaking to witnesses, he learned that two men had […]


Search Rother Radio

About Us

Rother Radio – Love Local, Love Music! → Discover more