News in brief: CBI, manufacturing, cabs, Paris

Paris: cabs strike
Paris: cabs strike

CBI reports flat start to 2016 for exporters

Both domestic and export new orders were near flat, but that represented an improvement on the previous quarter when orders fell. Manufacturers do expect some growth in domestic new orders and output over the next quarter, but new export orders are expected to remain flat and optimism about the overall business situation declined a little further, according to the 465 firms surveyed.

Total unit costs and domestic prices both fell back slightly over the three months to January. Competitiveness abroad for manufacturers remains under intense pressure with 16 of 18 sub-sectors saying that their competitiveness in the EU was down on three months ago. Export output prices continue to post falls with firms’ competitiveness outside the EU also continuing to worsen.

CBI director of economics Rain Newton-Smith said:Uncertainty around the prospects for global growth, uncompetitive energy costs and the strength of the pound have all played their part in UK manufacturers finding conditions tough when trying to sell overseas.”

Newton-Smith stressed that, over the longer term, strong investment in innovation and skills is vital to boosting Britain’s performance in exports.

Taxi strikes planned in Paris

There are strikes planned for French taxis today (26 Jan 2016) that are expected to cause huge levels of disruption throughout Paris.

The drivers are calling for an abolition of the French chauffeur licence which enables private drivers – for example, Uber and Blacklane drivers – to compete with the taxis

Blacklane CEO and co-founder Jens Wohltorf has claimed that French taxi drivers want a monopoly and have a “willingness to create chaos and resort to violence.”

He continued: “We condemn these tactics and Blacklane will not be intimidated. We proudly stand with our legal professional drivers and their passengers. Customers deserve safe journeys and a variety of legal transportation options.”