Small and medium sized manufacturers are still having a tough time, with orders and output continuing to fall in the three months leading to April. However, CBI’s latest SME trends survey has shown a degree of optimism for growth for the new quarter of 2013. The decrease in total new orders seems to have been driven by falls in both domestic and export demand, which has dashed hopes that there would be gains coming into 2013.
Output fell for a fourth consecutive quarter, however, this is expected to grow slightly over the next 3 months. This is off the back of a predicted growth in export orders, with domestic orders looking set to stabilise as well. Despite the weaker than expected growth to date, optimism in general has steadied – significantly, optimism about exports rose for the first time in 12 months.
Stephen Gifford, CBI Director of Economics, commented; “It’s been another disappointing quarter for small and medium sized manufacturing firms, who have seen new orders and output continue to fall. Nonetheless, firms do expect to raise output a little in the coming three months. The recent weakening in Sterling will have boosted the competitiveness of the UK’s smaller manufacturing firms, with a strong pick up in export orders predicted.”
“But conditions will remain challenging for the sector. Fears about the impact of political and economic conditions abroad on export demand have risen and there is little sign in this survey that credit conditions are improving.”
Manufacturing is an important sector within the UK small business community so many fingers are crossed that proper growth will be achieved in the coming year. Manufacturing is one business sector that can benefit from invoice finance, so if your business is struggling, it could be worth checking out what alternative finance has to offer.