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CBI: Demand for UK goods weakens

DEMAND for manufactured goods weakened a little in June but this followed an exceptional improvement in May, according to the latest monthly Industrial Trends survey from the CBI, which was published yesterday.

A net 23 per cent of manufacturers said that total orders were below normal in June. This is slightly worse than May’s balance of -18 per cent but the CBI said that it does not reverse the improving trend of recent months, and the balance is still quite close to the long-term average of -18 per cent.

Manufacturers are still feeling optimistic about the future with a net 15 per cent expecting production to rise over the next three months. Export order books were also a little weaker compared with last month .

Ian McCafferty, the CBI’s chief economic adviser, said:

“Although demand for UK-made goods has weakened a little this month, the manufacturing sector remains on a path of recovery, with conditions much improved on just a few months ago.”

He added: “UK exports continue to be boosted by the weak pound and strengthening world trade, firms still expect a healthy rise in production in the coming months.”