Order books for UK factories are at their highest level since the onset of the financial crisis six years ago, the CBI said.
Underlining the recent upward trend in manufacturing, the monthly snapshot of business conditions showed demand improving both at home and abroad.
Almost a third of firms (28%) questioned in the employers’ organisation’s industrial trends survey said order books were above normal for the time of year while 19% said they were below normal. The gap of +9 percentage points was the widest since August 2007, the month global financial markets were shaken by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis.
Export order books were at their strongest for two-and-a-half years, and firms stepped up production and reduced their stocks to meet the increase in demand.
In the three months to September, 39% of manufacturers said they had boosted output against 21% who said they had cut back. The gap of +18 points was the highest since August 2011 and exceeded expectations.
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