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Economy in Brief

CBI Survey Shows Industrial Slowing and Lingering Inflation
by Robert Brusca December 14, 2007

The CBI Industrial Survey shows still firm readings for measures of activity. Orders are still in the 86th percentile of their range. Export orders remain in the 98th percentile of their range. Output volume is much softer in the 55th percentile of its range. Stocks are a bit above mid range as well in their 57th percentile, roughly balanced with the position of sales. Average prices expected remain elevated with a +15 reading, down from +21 in November but still in the 82nd percentile of their range.

Orders are surprisingly resilient especially for exports a surprise given the buoyancy of the pound sterling and given the slowing signals we have seen for the Euro area, to say nothing of slowing in the US. But output volume has sunken well below its 12-month average of +15 to stand at +3. There is some disconnect between orders and output trends. Clearly one aspect is that the overseas economies are holding up better than is the UK economy. Meanwhile, the average inflation reading over 12 months is +17 and that is only a touch stronger than the +15 reading for December that lingers as current output readings have softened.

UK Industrial Volume Data CBI Survey
Reported: Dec-07 Nov-07 Oct-07 Sep-07 12MO Avg Pcntle Max Min Range
Total Orders 2 8 -6 6 3 86% 9 -40 49
Export Orders 2 -4 -9 -2 -3 98% 3 -50 53
Stocks: Finished Goods 14 14 14 7 10 57% 26 -2 28
Output Volume: Next 3-Mo 3 9 10 17 15 55% 28 -28 56
Avg Prices 4Nxt 3m 15 21 14 16 17 82% 25 -30 55
From end 2000
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