12 July 2006

The Web
Business Today

Order books in sharp decline in May

The slowly improving trend for manufacturing seen since the turn of the year has not been sustained, according to FOI’s manufacturing survey for May.
The survey registered a sharp drop in order books, the second worst result registered since the end of last year. Firms were also less positive in their near-term outlook for production. In this regard, the Intermediate Goods Sector and the Investment Goods Sector registered significant declines in order books compared to the previous month. Order books for the Consumer Goods sector remained broadly stable.
At the same time, production expectations remained in positive territory but weakened for all three sectors.
In terms of stocks of finished products, the number of firms with ‘above normal’ stock levels was lower than a month before, even though it was still high when compared to the previous 9 months.
According to the May survey, manufacturers also expect to decrease their selling prices over the following three months. The number of manufacturing firms claiming this declined substantially compared to April levels.
This shift is attributed to the Consumer Goods Sector where, in contrast to the previous two months, there were more firms expecting to increase prices rather than decrease them.
Selling price expectations for the Intermediate and the Investments Goods Sector remained relatively stable.
In the meantime, employment expectations remained positive, but at lower levels than in the preceding month.

Business Today is published weekly on Wednesdays.
Website is updated weekly on Thursdays
Copyright © MediaToday., Malta
Managing Editor - Saviour Balzan
Editor: Kurt Sansone
Business Today, MediaToday, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann
Tel: (356) 2138 2741 | Fax: (356) 2138 5075 | E-mail