CBI Industrial Trends Survey, September 2015: Overall, output volumes in manufacturing were flat in the 3 months to September, bringing to an end a run of growth that goes back to February 2013; in particular, there were some sizeable declines reported for Metal Products and Electronic Engineering. Despite this, 11 of the 18 sub-sectors did report some growth and further expansion is anticipated over the coming 3 months, albeit at the weakest rate since October 2013.
Total order books also fell in September, although they remain above average, but there was an even larger fall in export orders, from an already lower level, to their weakest in six months. Among small & medium-sized manufacturers, export orders were at their lowest level since October 2009.
You can get the CBI Press Release on this report at http://news.cbi.org.uk/ - if it has gone from the top of this page, just look under from 22nd September.
UK Trade in Goods by Industry, 2nd Quarter 2015: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published its analysis of trade by industry; it shows that exports of engineering products were worth £32.9 billion, an increase of +2.7% compared to the previous quarter and +4.1% on a year earlier. Within this total, exports of goods from the Metal Engineering industries (excluding electrical equipment and computer, electronic and optical products) were worth £24.6 billion, which is +3.9% higher than the previous quarter and +5.4% up on a year earlier.
This growth in exports was heavily influenced by a couple of industries, with Metal Products (specifically weapons and ammunition) and Aerospace exports growing strongly; exports of the Machinery industry fell on both comparisons and this was reflected across the various elements of the sector.
In contrast, imports of goods in both categories were lower than in the 1st period of 2015 but, again in both cases, were higher than in the 2nd quarter of 2014. This has closed the trade deficit that the UK has in these goods; in the 2nd quarter of 2015 this stood at £9.9 billion for all Engineering, of which £3.3 billion was for the Metal Engineering industries.
You can get the ONS Statistical Bulletin from their web-site at www.ons.gov.uk or request it from MTA - we have an analysis targeted specifically at the industries of most interest to MTA members which we can send alongside the main report from ONS.
CECIMO Toolbox, September 2015: The latest edition of the contains the usual round-up of general data from Europe, including series such as exchange rates, the OECD Business Confidence Indicator for Europe and capacity utilisation, as well as the CECIMO MT-IX index which tracks share prices for publically quoted machine tool companies across the world.
This edition also contains the new projections of orders for European machine tool manufacturers; this is a single forecast for total orders across Europe (actually for 8 countries, but covering the majority of such activity). The headline from this shows that new orders were slightly above what had been expected in the 2nd quarter of 2015 and, with the latest indicators brightening prospects significantly, the forecast has been revised up; having said this, all it has done is to turn the dip that was expected for 2015 into a flat trend (at a relatively high level), but the 2nd half of 2016 now suggests reasonable growth.
You can download the CECIMO Toolbox from their web-site at www.cecimo.eu or request it (and the summary of the manufacturers’ orders forecast) from MTA.