SME manufacturing activity grew at record pace, CBI survey reveals

05 Aug 2021

A survey carried out by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has revealed that manufacturing output amongst small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) grew at the fastest pace on record in the three months to July.

The CBI's quarterly SME Trends Survey found that the volume of total new orders increased at the quickest rate on record, which reflected a rise in domestic orders. The survey also showed that growth in export orders was the quickest since January 2019.

Many SMEs expect output volumes to grow at a strong rate in the next three months, the CBI found.

'The economic recovery has given a significant boost to SME manufacturers, with firms reporting record growth in activity,' said Alpesh Paleja, Lead Economist at the CBI.

'Buoyant demand has led firms to kick-start their investment plans and increase headcounts. The outlook further ahead is also positive, as businesses expect activity to continue to grow strongly.

'However, mounting staff shortages, rising cost pressures and shortages of raw materials due to supply chain disruptions are posing a real challenge to the outlook.'