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UK Manufacturing Orders Rise At Fastest Pace Since 2019: CBI

UK manufacturing orders grew at the fastest pace in two years and the optimism among manufacturers rose the most since 1973, survey results from the Confederation of British Industry showed on Thursday.

The order book balance rose to +5 percent in three months to April from -12 percent in January, the latest Industrial Trends survey revealed. This was the biggest growth since April 2019.

A net 6 percent said domestic orders grew at the fastest pace since July 2018, while export orders were almost flat.

About 20 percent manufacturers expect new order growth to accelerate next quarter and around 36 percent expects output to pick up rapidly.

Business sentiment in the quarter to April advanced to +38 percent from -22 percent in January. This was the fastest growth since April 1973.

Further, the survey showed that investment intentions for the next year saw a broad-based improvement, with firms expecting to spend more on buildings, plant & machinery, product & process innovation, and training & retraining compared to last year.

"It's hugely welcome to see manufacturers planning to invest more in their businesses following what has been an extraordinarily difficult period for the sector," Tom Crotty, group director at INEOS and chair of the CBI Manufacturing Council, said.

"After all, a more productive manufacturing sector can be an engine for the UK's economic renewal and long-term growth," Crotty added.

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