Soaring factory orders help to keep the economic recovery on track

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BRITISH factory orders grew at their fastest pace in six months in June and growth expectations held well above their historic average, the Confederation of British Industry said yesterday.

It’s the latest in a number of upbeat economic surveys which suggest the UK is on course for a sustainable economic recov- ery.

The CBI survey’s monthly total order book balance surged to +11 this month from 0 in May, the highest level since December and one that far outstrips economists’ forecasts for a more modest rise to +3.

Output growth expectations for the next three months held at May’s level of +32, which compares to a long-run average of +7.

The export order book balance also rose to -2 from -9, again above a long-run average of -20.

CBI deputy director general Katja Hall said yesterday: “Demand for British-made goods remains buoyant and that’s helped drive this quarter’s further rise in output.

“Growth is broad-based, with the recovery spreading its roots, and firms have high hopes for the coming quarter.

“However, the recent rise in sterling could impact on the resilient export orders we’ve seen lately.

“As a result, now is the right time to capitalise on boosting manufacturing further by taking action to strengthen the UK’s supply chains across industry.

“This will help unlock further growth and increase ex- ports.”

The survey of 514 manufacturers found output volumes also continued to rise at a similarly solid pace to that seen in the past three months, with expectations of stronger growth for the coming quarter.