Manufacturing export orders have risen to their strongest level for 22 months

Manufacturing keeps up brisk pace of growth

Manufacturing order books and output growth have remained at an 18-year high this month.

The CBI's survey of nearly 400 factory bosses found that almost all industry sectors reported growth for a second month in a row and export orders also rose to their strongest level for 22 months, with the improvement mainly driven by the chemicals and motor sectors.

Manufacturers expect output growth to continue over the coming three months, although at a somewhat slower pace.

CBI director of economics Stephen Gifford said: "While risks remain in the Eurozone and beyond, this survey provides further evidence that the recovery is becoming more embedded."

The study found that total orders relative to normal levels were little changed from last month's 1995 high, with a balance of plus 12 per cent of firms saying levels were above normal.

Growth in output volumes was also unchanged from the previous month's 1995 record after a balance of plus 29 per cent reported a rise, though one area of concern came from price expectations after a second successive rise to the highest level since last February.

The CBI said the level of increase was not particularly strong by the standards of recent years and was mainly driven by the food, drink and tobacco, and metal manufacturing sectors.

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