Manufacturing output in the UK stabilised in the three months to August, according to data published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The CBI's monthly Industrial Trends Survey revealed that 15% of UK manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal. However, 28% stated that they were below normal. This leaves a balance of -13%, compared to -34% last month.
Meanwhile, 11% of firms said that their export order books were above normal, compared to 26% below normal, giving a balance of -15%, which is up from the figure of -32% recorded in July. Chemicals, mechanical engineering and plastic producers all grew, but paper, printing and media slowed growth, the CBI found.
Commenting on the figures, Anna Leach, Deputy Chief Economist at the CBI, said: 'Despite signs of stabilisation in the data this month, UK manufactures remain on the receiving end of a double whammy: the slowdown in the global economy and Brexit uncertainty. Trade tensions between nations such as China and the US only exacerbate the demand uncertainty facing UK manufacturers.
'As we get closer to October, it's crucial that the new Prime Minister secures a Brexit deal ahead of that deadline and gets on with pressing domestic priorities, from improving our infrastructure to fixing the Apprenticeship Levy.'