Too few staff hits plans for investment
The number of manufacturing firms limiting investment plans because of a shortage of workers is at its highest for four years, a new study shows.
Research by the CBI revealed that orders and output in the sector softened in the last three months, while optimism about business conditions fell for the first time in a year.
A survey of almost 400 manufacturers found that investment intentions for the year ahead have deteriorated, with spending plans for buildings at their lowest for eight years.
Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI's chief economist, said: "Growth in output and orders are still above historical norms, and it's encouraging that plans for spending on innovation and training are holding their own.
"But we've seen a general softening in manufacturing activity over the past three months."