Belfast Telegraph

Manufacturing sector recovery hits buffers over weak eurozone

By Roger Baird

The recovery in the manufacturing sector has continued to lose momentum as weak export orders reflect sluggish demand in the eurozone, the CBI has said.

Its latest industrial trends survey of 421 manufacturers also found that expectations for growth over the next quarter fell to their lowest level for 13 months.

Total new orders rose to a balance of plus 3 in November from minus 6 the month before, but were held back by export orders registering a balance of minus 17.

Orders were subdued due to weak demand in the eurozone and slowing growth in emerging markets.

Export orders were below-par in 15 of the 18 manufacturing sub sectors the CBI measures, with mechanical engineering the lowest for two years, although this was partially offset by a stronger performance in the aerospace sector.

Overall, the sector's total order book remains above its long-term average of minus 16.

CBI director for economics Rain Newton-Smith said: "Overall manufacturing output remains quite strong, although growth is expected to ease against the backdrop of continuing global risks."

The CBI's survey comes as another closely-watched newly-published study reported that eurozone business activity fell to a 16-month low of 51.4.

Belfast Telegraph