View more on these topics

Smaller manufacturers see decline in output, says CBI

The steady decline in orders and output for small and medium-sized manufacturers continued over the last four months, with expectations of a turnaround failing to materialise, a CBI survey has found.

The fall in output reported by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reflects the general pattern for all UK manufacturers, while SME orders fell more sharply than those of larger manufacturers.

22% of SMEs said total new orders were up over the last four months, 38% said they were down. The balance of minus 16% compares with minus 11% reported in April and contrasts sharply with the predicted figure of plus 14%.

23% of firms recorded an increase in output, 34% recorded a fall. The balance of minus 11% compares with minus 14% in April and falls well short of the expected figure of plus 13%. The total volumes of orders and output of small firms are again more negative than medium-sized ones.

Failure to realise the predicted change of fortunes has damaged SME confidence, causing firms to significantly revise predictions for the next four months. SMEs expect orders and output to stabilise, whereas larger manufacturers anticipate a small pick up. Medium-sized firms are more positive than small ones.

The volume of export orders continues to be weak. The rate of decline is the same as April. Export optimism has fallen slightly, but firms do expect orders to stabilise over the next four months.

Simon Bartley, chair of the CBI&#39s SME Council, says: “Smaller manufacturers are disappointed. The recession maintains a tight grip despite the confident expectations of last quarter. Orders and output have been declining for eighteen months, but firms do expect business to stabilise. Smaller manufacturers now anticipate a more gradual and protracted recovery than they had hoped for earlier this year. All UK manufacturers, regardless of size, will be hoping for a sorely needed pick-up in global demand.”


FSA seeks to define independence in the mortgage market

The FSA is consulting on whether it should place requirements on firms in the mortgage market who choose to call themselves &#39independent&#39 and, if so, whether this should apply to both advised and non-advised sales. It also considers whether firms should adopt a different status in relation to different regulated products, for example, being independent […]

Fees now need a level playing field

Much has been written about the growth in sub-prime lending, particularly the number of new entrants and consolidation activity in the market. Increasingly, we are seeing lenders in this market receiving the backing of their bigger, mainstream cousins. And, of course, we are seeing higher-profile entrants into the market from lenders with a good heritage […]

Repent sinners

From Frank HughesIan Griffiths&#39 letter about Abbey National (Mortgage Strategy August 5 2002) did strike a chord with me. I&#39ve not been wild about Abbey National since, admittedly a few years back, I lost over £2,000 in fees and commissions as a result of its incompetence.An established self-employed client was moving from High Wycombe to […]

Equity release “high-risk product” says FSA

The FSA has proposed that different types of mortgage carry different levels of risk in CP146, its latest consultation paper on mortgage regulation. The FSA proposals include assigning different levels of risk to different products, with equity release – or lifetime mortgages in FSA parlance – included within the higher risk bracket. Mortgages where the […]

Why we all need to back the housing underdog

The UK loves an underdog. There is something irresistible about the story of the little guy standing up to the established players and leaving them with a bloody nose, whether it is Henry Cooper putting Muhammad Ali on the mat or the Wallabies trouncing the Kiwis in rugby. At the Conservative Party conference, LendInvest championed […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up