Too few staff hits plans for in­vest­ment

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY ALAN JONES

THE num­ber of man­u­fac­tur­ing firms lim­it­ing in­vest­ment plans be­cause of a short­age of work­ers is at its high­est for four years, a new study shows.

Re­search by the CBI re­vealed that or­ders and out­put in the sec­tor soft­ened in the last three months, while op­ti­mism about business con­di­tions fell for the first time in a year.

A sur­vey of al­most 400 man­u­fac­tur­ers found that in­vest­ment in­ten­tions for the year ahead have de­te­ri­o­rated, with spend­ing plans for build­ings at their low­est for eight years.

Rain New­ton-smith, the CBI’S chief economist, said: “Growth in out­put and or­ders are still above his­tor­i­cal norms, and it’s en­cour­ag­ing that plans for spend­ing on in­no­va­tion and train­ing are hold­ing their own.

“But we’ve seen a gen­eral soft­en­ing in man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­ity over the past three months.”

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