Stocks of raw materials, work in progress, and finished goods grew at their fastest respective paces yet, suggesting that Brexit contingency planning was a priority for UK manufacturers.
The survey showed that output growth sped up slightly in the three months but remained “modest” overall.
The sector expects new domestic and export orders to fall in the coming quarter, as the proportion of firms citing “political/economic conditions abroad” as a key factor limiting exports hit its highest level since January 1983.
CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said: “It’s encouraging that securing a Brexit extension has removed the cliff edge of a no-deal for now. However, it does not give manufacturers the longer-term certainty that they desperately need to invest in their businesses.
“For the good of the UK manufacturing sector, politicians must use this time well and come back with a renewed effort to get a deal over the line.”