The number of people employed in UK factories has grown at the fastest rate in nearly half a century over the past three months, the CBI said.
The Business Lobby Group said employment, investment, production, costs and prices all rose rapidly during the strongest period of growth since the early to mid-1970s.
In a recent health check, the CBI said manufacturers expected production to grow at the fastest rate on record over the next three months after all restrictions on activity in the UK were lifted this week.
However, the industry is also facing severe cost pressures, with many of the 250 companies surveyed reporting shortages in materials and skilled labor.
Together with another employer group, Make UK, the CBI has urged the government to reconsider self-isolation rules that impede businesses’ maximum ability to work.
Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at CBI, said: “The record growth in manufacturing output is another proof that the UK industry is reawakening after the economic damage caused by the pandemic.” With demand growing rapidly, companies are hiring more employees and planning additional investments in plants, machinery and training. Encouragingly, the manufacturer expects further record-breaking production growth in the next quarter.
New orders grew at the fastest rate since 1974, employment grew at the fastest rate since 1973, and cost pressures were first reported since 1980, according to CBI’s Industry Trends Survey.
Newton-Smith said the manpower shortage is causing serious problems in manufacturing, a shortage of skills and a sharp rise in quarantine personnel.
Businesses have already endured prolonged demand suppression, so it is now important for governments to do everything possible to protect the recovery of these activities.
In the short term, self-isolation rules should be reconsidered immediately. A test-and-release system that allows healthy people to return to work will help, and will free those who have double-jabbed from isolation duties. This allows manufacturers to operate at maximum capacity and strive to take advantage of rapid recovery.
Manufacturers group Make UK found that 77% of companies said they were being impacted by testing and tracking, and 13% said some production had stopped, according to a survey. 10 said up to 25% were closed.
Ben Broadbent, deputy governor of the Bank of England (BOE) and member of the Threadneedle Streets Monetary Policy Committee, said on Thursday that he expects commodity prices to rise temporarily in recent days and that wages have better guidance on whether or not to take action. said to provide Inflation needs to be curbed.
Broadbent said it knows it will go further in the coming months, but is not convinced that the current inflation in retail commodity prices by itself should mean higher inflation in 18-24 months.
The outlook for aggregate demand growth remains significant. And for all the usual reasons and more, the MPC needs to be very attentive, analyzing official data as much as possible into figures from the labor market.
Broadbent is the latest MPC member to present his views on inflation at the current 2.5% ahead of a committee meeting earlier next month.
The Bureau of Statistics summarized the most recent economic data and found retail sales increased for the first time since early June, with more job postings but lower credit and debit card payments. These figures are for the period before restrictions lifted in the UK this week.
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