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UK manufacturing orders gauge hits record high in September: CBI

UK manufacturing orders gauge hits record high in September: CBI
UK manufacturing orders gauge hits record high in September: CBI   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> – A record share of British manufacturers reported rising new orders this month but global supply chain problems and labour shortages held back growth in output, a survey showed on Tuesday.</p> <p>The Confederation of British Industry’s monthly manufacturing order book balance rose to +22 in September from +18 in August, its highest level since records started in 1977.</p> <p>Still, the picture was weaker for export orders – which grew at their fastest since March 2019 – and the survey’s gauge of output growth fell to its lowest level since April.</p> <p>“Today’s survey highlights how amidst a variety of supply challenges, companies are beginning to struggle to meet high demand,” <span class="caps">CBI</span> deputy chief economist Anna Leach said.</p> <p>“Despite close to half of manufacturers surveyed reporting order books above normal, output growth has slowed sharply, albeit remaining relatively robust.”</p> <p>The survey’s gauge of price expectations cooled to a four-month low, but Leach warned manufacturers still faced rocketing energy prices.</p> <p>As economies reopen after <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 lockdowns, wholesale natural gas prices in Europe have soared this year, pushed up by high demand for liquefied natural gas in Asia, nuclear maintenance and lower-than-usual supplies from Russia.</p> <p>The record prices have strained the British energy sector, destroying the business model of smaller energy traders and sending shockwaves through the chemical and fertiliser markets, leading to a shortage of carbon dioxide used in food processing.</p> <p/> </div>