LONDON (Reuters) - British factory orders improved slightly in May and manufacturers remained upbeat about the outlook, the CBI’s monthly industrial trends survey showed on Wednesday.
The Confederation of British Industry total order book balance improved to -20 this month from April’s -25, broadly in line with expectations.
The output expectations balance remained elevated at +18, the third month in a row that it has been above its long-term average.
“Manufacturers remain optimistic that demand will pick up in the next three months, despite a recent history of disappointed expectations,” said Stephen Gifford, the CBI’s director of economics.
“With orders improving and the global economy heading for calmer waters, it looks like conditions for manufacturers are on the up.”
Total order book -20 -25 -15 -14 -20
Export order book -17 -21 -11 -20 -29
Stocks of finished goods +13 +13 +14 +12 +15
Output expectations +18 +23 +22 +5 +8
Domestic price expectations +4 +8 +5 +20 +21
CONSENSUS FORECAST: Total order book -19
The balance is the difference between the percentage of manufacturers reporting an increase or above normal and those reporting a decrease or below normal.
Output and domestic price expectations are for the next three months.