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12th of December 2010
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December 8, 2010    

British factory orders see strong demand

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by Kay Murchie

The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) December industrial trends survey today revealed further good news for the sector after overseas demand surged to a 15-year high.

The pound gained following the news which revealed firms experiencing above normal demand from overseas was 4% - a significant improvement on the previous month’s -7% and the highest reading since August 1995.

Meanwhile, the survey’s total order book balance accelerated in December to -3 from -15 last month - far exceeding expectations of a reading of -13 and the highest level since June 2008.

Commenting on the indices, CBI chief economic advisor Ian McCafferty, said: “These figures show that the recovery in the manufacturing sector is well underway. With total order books getting back to normal levels and overseas demand particularly strong, the outlook for UK manufacturing output growth is encouraging.”

The survey comes just a day after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed UK manufacturing output grew by 0.6% in October compared with September – the biggest gain since March.

In addition, last week, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS)/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) revealed UK manufacturing activity surged at a record pace in November.

The closely-watched CIPS/Markit manufacturing PMI rose to 58 in November from an upwardly revised 55.4 in October.

Not only was the reading the highest since September 1994, it confounded analysts expectations of a reading of 54.6.

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