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Manufacturing order books improve

Factory - UK factory activity stabilised this month - SantanderCB

UK factory activity stabilised this month, though a gloomy economic backdrop continued to weigh on exporters, according to the CBI.

The business group said manufacturers' order books improved in April compared with March. Some 15% of the 472 companies it surveyed said order books were 'above normal' in April, compared with 26% that said they were below average.

The resulting balance of -11% was above March's reading of -14. It was also higher than economists' estimates and the long-run average of -15. Data for the three months to April also suggested the recent downturn in manufacturing was starting to moderate.

Despite the looming EU referendum, manufacturers were more optimistic that orders would pick up over the next three months. 'In contrast to the message from other surveys, Brexit risk also does not appear to be dissuading investment,' said Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

 

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