Business sentiment amongst SME manufacturers improves

More UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) manufacturers are optimistic about their business prospects, as orders and production are both expected to grow over the next quarter, according to the latest quarterly Confederation of British Industry (CBI) survey.

Of the 356 respondents, a balance of +22% were more optimistic about their business situation in the three months up to April. This is the first rise in sentiment in exactly a year, when +12% responded positively.

+19% were expecting to see a significant increase in orders over the next quarter, whilst +16% also expect to employ more in this period.

Chair of the CBI’s SME council, Lucy Armstrong, said of the latest survey results, “Small and medium-sized manufacturers are feeling more optimistic for the first time in a year, an encouraging development given the important role that they play in our economy.”

“Indeed, firms expect orders and output to rise strongly in the coming quarter and plan to invest more in the year ahead, pointing to growing momentum in manufacturing activity”, she concluded.