Manufacturing sector growth strongest in 18 years

Growth in manufacturing output is at its strongest since 1995, according to the latest industrial trends survey from the Confederation for British Industry. 36 per cent of firms reported that total order books were above normal in November. 25 per cent said they were below, which gave a balance of 11 per cent, last seen in March 1995.

The recovery of UK manufacturing is accelerating: Both the size of total order books and the pace of output growth over the past three months were the highest recorded in 18 years, said the survey, which questions almost 350 manufacturers.

Output volumes over the three months to November rose at their fastest since January 1995, with all bar one sector (electrical engineering) reporting growth.

CBI director of economics Stephen Gifford said that, "despite the encouraging signs of a broadening and deepening recovery" in the sector, "challenges remain". "UK exporters need government support to break into high-growth export markets to reduce their vulnerability to any further Eurozone flare-ups."