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Jennie Johnson
Laura Tenison
Steve Purdham
Michael Oliver
Jeremy Roberts
Brian Hay
David Pollock
Debbie Pierce
Richard O'Sullivan
Charlie Mullins
Tony Caldeira
Julie Meyer

Manufacturing output continues healthy expansion

Manufacturing output continued to expand at a "healthy rate" in the past month, according to the CBI.

Its latest Industrial Trends Survey of 481 firms shows companies expect the rate of production to increase rapidly in the coming quarter, with 11 out of 18 sub-sectors upgrading their expectations for output.

Export order books weakened slightly, but remained comfortably above their long-run average. Chemical firms experienced the sharpest drop in overseas demand, contrasting with the motor vehicle and transport sector, which reported the greatest improvement.

Total orders remained unchanged from the previous month, well above average levels.

Near-term expectations for prices eased, with a majority of respondents anticipating no change over the next three months.

Stock adequacy climbed to the highest level since June 2013, with half of the change in the balance accounted for by chemical manufacturers, who also scaled back their output the most out of the survey respondents.

CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: "It's good to see that manufacturers are enjoying a lingering summer with output running at a strong pace and manufacturers' order books remaining solid, particularly amongst the food, drink and motor vehicles sectors.

"Our members tell us and our surveys show that the fall in sterling has boosted international competitiveness for many businesses, with export order books remaining well above average in September, despite weakening slightly.

"But there are plenty of challenges ahead for manufacturers as we adjust to a new relationship with the EU and the rest of the world. That's why we want to see a focus on promoting investment and innovation in the Autumn Statement to ensure our makers are able to put their best foot forward and adjust to new opportunities."

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