- 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