Hopes for new growth

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UK manufacturers are continuing to report healthy order books and expect further growth in output during the coming quarter, though at a slightly slower pace than over the past few months, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

The CBI’s latest monthly Industrial Trends Survey shows export orders have picked up slightly, but pressure on prices remains a concern, with almost a third of manufacturers expecting to raise prices in the next three months.

CBI chief economic adviser, Ian McCafferty, said: “UK manufacturers currently have healthy order books. Factory output is still set to rise solidly over the coming quarter, but expectations for growth have moderated compared with recent months, when output prospects were particularly strong.

“This reflects the slightly softer patch for manufacturing evident in other economies, much of which appears due to the temporary supply chain disruptions following the tsunami in Japan. Inflationary pressures remain acute. High commodity prices and import costs mean firms still expect to raise factory gate prices markedly over the next three months.”

n Companies that demonstrate excellence in manufacturing will be among those winning region wide recognition in this year’s Star Business Awards.

The award for Excellence in Manufacturing will go to the company that demonstrates a modern, efficient and innovative approach to manufacturing, including a commitment to the excellence and development of its products and services, reaching new markets, a track record for passing on skills to future generations and the desire to promote the region as a centre for manufacturing excellence.

Organisations can nominate themselves and other businesses by visiting the Awards website - www.thestar.co.uk/businessawards - and downloading an entry form.