UK industrial orders and input prices rise in February
The balance of total orders over the three months was +8, up from the +5 in the previous survey and beating the consensus forecast of a small dip to +3. The balance is not seasonally adjusted.
This came from the difference between the 27% of businesses that reported total orders were above normal and the 19% that said orders were below normal, giving the highest balance since February 2015.
But some economists argued that one seasonally adjusted terms the balance was essentially flat.
Looking forward, the sector is likely to face price pressures, with the survey finding the balance of firms planning to lift selling prices rose to +32 from the previous survey's +28.
Firms expect prices to rise strongly over the next three months, the CBI said, with expectations at their firmest since April 2011 as sterling's depreciation continues to increase the cost of raw materials.
The pick up in total orders came from domestic demand, with the export orders balance slipping down to -10 from -9 in January.
On the upside, output expectations picked up, with the balance rising to +33 from +26. ■