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Good news for economy as exports show a marked rise

By John-Paul Ford Rojas

The UK's manufacturing sector enjoyed mixed fortunes this month as order books fell to a seven-month low.

But export orders were at the best level since August, according to a CBI survey.

The figures showed 20% of firms reported total order books to be above normal, while 24% said they were below normal, giving a rounded balance of minus 5%.

However, there was an improvement in the reading for export orders which, at minus 7%, was the best reading for nine months, a period which has seen the strength of the pound drag on overseas sales.

Manufacturing output for the past three months remained sluggish though improved on a 22-month low in April, while expectations for the next three months were slightly reduced.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director of economics, said: "Things are looking up for our manufacturers, with growth continuing and export orders improving.

"Some of this could be down to an improvement in the eurozone's momentum - but the strengthening pound is still proving quite a challenge.

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