Optimism among U.K. manufacturers rose at its fastest rate since 1973 in the first three months of this year, according to a survey out on Wednesday.
The quarterly survey of 405 manufacturers by the CBI (a U.K. business lobbying group) found that over two-fifths of businesses were more optimistic about the business situation than three months ago. Only 8 percent were less optimistic.
“There are still bumps in the road ahead, with only a tepid recovery likely in the euro zone, the pound creeping higher and a rapidly evolving situation in Ukraine. However, expectations for growth in the coming three months are positive and manufacturers plan to significantly ramp up investment in the year ahead,” said Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, in a news release.
The survey was conducted between March 24 and April 9, during which time the pound averaged 1.21 euros and $1.66.
Around one-third of interviewees reported an increase in total orders and the same number posted a rise in output volumes. Firms were also upbeat about the next quarter, with growth expectations for domestic orders and output at the highest since the 1970s.