27 May 2004
Small manufacturers have seen orders rise for the first time in over three years, with confidence climbing at the fastest rate since April 2002, according to the latest survey by the employers' organisation, the CBI.
Its quarterly poll of small and medium-sized firms found that 33 per cent saw orders increase during the first quarter of 2004, compared with 28 per cent of firms that reported reductions. This represents the first growth in orders since January 2001.
The CBI report mirrors the findings of the purchasing managers index report for April, produced by NTC Research and CIPS, which said that manufacturing grew at the fastest rate so far this year, although input prices were up strongly.