The outlook for the battered manufacturing sector is brightening according to the latest survey by the Confederation of British Industry.
The CBI's Industrial Trends Survey for August showed that 25 per cent of firms reported their total order books were above normal, while 26 per cent said they were below normal. The resulting (rounded) 0 per cent balance, up from minus 12 in July, was the strongest since August 2011.
The balance of export order books reported was also at its strongest since June 2012. In addition, the CBI said a positive balance of firms believe output will gather pace over the next three months.
Stephen Gifford, CBI director of economics, said: "UK manufacturers seem to be experiencing a build-up in momentum, but risks in the global economy still mean that it won't be plain-sailing for some time to come."