SME orders and output fall

SME Trends: CBI

  • Small and medium-sized manufacturers saw orders and output continue to fall in the three months to April, though firms are expecting both to grow in the next quarter.
  • Output also fell for the fourth consecutive quarter. However, manufacturers expect output to grow slightly over the next three months.
  • Optimism about the overall business situation has steadied, following three quarters of decline. Meanwhile, optimism about export prospects rose for the first time in a year.
  • Manufacturers expect a modest increase in headcount in the coming quarter.
  • Growth in average unit costs was the fastest since October 2011, squeezing manufacturers’ profit margins once again.
  • No sign of an improvement in credit conditions
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