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-March Total Order Book Balance +4% Vs +10% Feb
By David Robinson
     LONDON (MNI) - Growth in UK  manufacturing order books and output volumes
slowed in March, a survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed. 
     The March total order book balance fell to a net 4% from 10% in February,
with the export order balance holding steady at 10% and output volume balances
for the past three months dipping to 16% from 24%. These data suggest that
despite a softer March the sector as a whole has seen further solid expansion in
the first quarter.
     "Robust global growth and the low pound have gifted UK manufacturers a
strong first quarter in 2018," Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Intelligence,
     The balance for expected output volume for the next three months, the
second quarter, was 13%, down from 16% in February, above the long-run average
of 9%. 
     The survey showed pipeline inflation pressures easing, although still
elevated. A net 18% of manufacturers expected average prices to rise over the
next three months, down from a net 25% in February and 40% in January and back
in line with the readings in September and October last year. The long run
average prices balance is just 2%.
     Manufacturers have built up stock levels, with the net 20% balance for
above adequate stocks the first reading above the long run average of 13% since
September 2016.  
--MNI London Bureau; tel: +44 203-586-2223; email:
[TOPICS: MABDS$,M$B$$$,M$E$$$,MT$$$$]
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-3812 |