Manufacturers in the UK and Europe put their Chinese rivals in the shade for once today amid more recovery signs for the economy.
The CBI’s latest snapshot of the industry’s fortunes showed UK firms growing orders at the quickest pace since April last year in the quarter to July.
The cheer comes ahead of official estimates tomorrow set to show the wider economy picking up the pace of growth to 0.6 per cent between April and June, the best since last summer’s Olympics.
Europe’s manufacturers meanwhile pulled out of recession territory in July, according to financial data provider Markit, registering growth for the first time since February last year and the largest monthly rise in output since June 2011.
The upbeat news formed a stark contrast with China, where worries over a deepening slowdown for the economic powerhouse intensified today as manufacturing output shrank at its fastest pace for 11 months, according to HSBC.
The CBI’s survey of nearly 400 firms revealed manufacturers’ confidence over export prospects growing for the second quarter in a row and rising employment in the sector for a record 12 successive quarters.
Economics director Stephen Gifford said: “Manufacturers have seen a pick-up in activity across the board this quarter, with new orders and production continuing to rise.”
In Europe, Markit said France and Germany’s manufacturers were leading the recovery, fuelling hopes of the struggling eurozone finally pulling out of recession this summer after six quarters in a row of economic decline.
Its combined index for the region’s manufacturers and services firms edged over the 50 no-change mark to an 18-month high of 50.4.
Economists predict marginal growth of 0.1 per cent for the 17-member single currency bloc between July and September.