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27/02/2006

Industry confidence high, reports IABM Industry Trends Survey

Respondents to the IABM Industry Trends Survey have revealed that their confidence is high with just over half stating increased confidence in the next quarter compared to only eight per cent reporting it had diminished: a 7:1 confidence ratio.
This is higher than 46 per cent who said the same in the previous quarter’s results.
Looking further ahead across the coming 12 months, confidence has also increased over the previous quarter with 68 per cent stating a rise compared to 60 per cent previously. As with the last survey, confidence is predicated on the rollout of HD, impending live events and new product launches.
The IABM Industry Trends Survey, produced in association with Ernst & Young, provides an accurate assessment of current industry sales facts and wider trends from those on the front line, IABM members. It has been carefully designed to allow member companies to provide up-to-date information anonymously via the internet. The full results are available only to participants.
As regards order books, the overall outlook remains positive with 45 per cent saying that order volumes were either better than expected or much better than expected compared to only two per cent reporting a deterioration. This is a significant rise from the 34 per cent who said the same in the last quarter. No respondents indicated an order book much worse than expected in either volume or value terms. In terms of factors limiting order growth, selling capacity, prices and order/project deferral were the lead issues.
An 11.6 per cent rise from 57.4 to 69 per cent cited that stocks of finished goods either exceeded or were in line with requirements. As with the last quarter, skills and staff, manufacturing capacity and supply chain issues are the key factors limiting members’ ability to fulfil orders. However, in this quarter it is manufacturing capacity that takes precedence over skills and staff issues.
While 40 per cent of respondents said that they now have more employees than they did in the previous quarter, the majority stated that the number of employees remained the same. No respondents expect staffing levels to decline over the next quarter. In terms of R&D, 95 per cent said that expenditure remained either constant or was higher than 12 months ago.
80 per cent stated that selling prices had remained the same, compared to 60 per cent in the previous quarter’s survey.
(CD/GB)
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