Manufacturing output fell to its lowest level since 2009, according new the latest survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Of the 471 manufacturers surveyed, just 18 per cent said output had gone up over the last three months, with 33 per cent reporting a fall. This means manufacturing output volumes fell to -15 in the three months to March, from 0 in February.

However, manufacturers remain optimistic, with the expected volume of output balance rising to 23 per cent, well up on February’s 11 per cent.

Rain Newton-Smith, director of economics at CBI, said:

“Whilst total order and export books remained steady, a drop in output reflected some volatility in the food and drink sector. Reassuringly, manufacturers expect a swift turnaround in activity.”

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