Manufacturing orders continue to rise

More evidence of UK manufacturers' resilience to the current economic turbulence has emerged, with the growth in business order books marginally increasing during the last three months

The latest quarterly trends survery from employers' body the CBI found that a balance of 11 per cent of firms said the volume of total orders had gone up in the quarter to January, compared with 9 per cent in October.

The demand was mostly driven by export orders aided by a weaker pound, the CBI said.

A balance of 10 per cent of firms reported a rise in overseas orders on the 6 per cent reported in October. Exports grew at their fastest rate since October 1995.

Last week engineering employers' body the EEF reported that manufacturers were well placed to weather potential economic storms this year. It said the sector continued to enjoy a "renaissance" and there were signs that 2007 was its best in a decade.

But Howard Archer, chief UK economist at Global Insight, said: "While the CBI survey indicates that the manufacturing sector is currently holding up relatively well, we suspect that it will increasingly struggle over the coming months as it is buffeted by the credit crunch, slowing domestic demand and elevated oil prices."

Image: Exports are showing healthy growth

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