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UK manufacturing orders gauge hits record high in September: CBI By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: An Envision battery factory worker sweeps the floors at Nissan Sunderland’s Sunderland plant, Britain. July 1, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) – 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.

Confederation of British Industry’s monthly manufacturing orders book balance increased from +18 to +22 in August to reach +22 in September, which is the highest reading since 1977.

However, export orders showed a weaker picture. These increased at the fastest pace since March 2019. The survey’s gauge for output growth was also lower than it had been since April.

CBI deputy chief economist Anna Leach explained that “Today’s survey highlights how, amid a variety supply challenges companies are starting to struggle to satisfy high demand.”

“With nearly 50% of respondents reporting an order book above the normal level, output growth has slowed but remained relatively steady, even though it was reported by half of those surveyed.”

Leach said that although the survey gauge of price expectations fell to a 4-month low, it still warned that there are rising prices for energy.

As economies reopen after COVID-19 lockdowns, wholesale 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.

British energy sectors have been hit hard by record-breaking prices. They are threatening the businesses of energy traders, and have sent shockwaves through the fertiliser and chemical markets. The result is a lack of carbon dioxide in food processing.

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