RTTNews - Wednesday, the latest quarterly Industrial Trends Survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed that contraction in manufacturing output eased, but a return to growth would be still some way off.

In three months to July, manufacturing output volume of 43% of participants declined and just 12% reported increase, resulting in a negative balance of 31%. This balance represented a slower rate of decline than the minus 53% recorded during the previous three months.

According to the survey, British firms' stocks of finished goods reduced at the fastest rate in the 51 year history of the survey with a balance of minus 23. Despite the relative weakness of sterling, export demand was also disappointing.

Ian McCafferty, CBI Chief Economic Adviser said, There are also further indications that the inventory cycle may not be turning as quickly as many had hoped, with some manufacturers still having excess stocks of goods.

The order book balance was minus 59 in July compared to minus 51 in June. The CBI Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey was conducted between June 24 and July 8 2009 covering 517 manufacturing firms.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com