Manufacturers order books looked up in April according to new purchasing manager's index data. The sector moved closed to growth as the index rose from 48.6 to 49.8 (a figure of over 50 implies expansion). The previous figure was revised upwards from 48.3, with just a small rise to 48.5 anticipated.
Lee Hopley of EEF, the manufacturers' organisation:
This is mildly encouraging start to the second quarter with a pick up in manufacturing in April following growth in official figures in February and March. While still not in positive territory overall, the data indicates a vital revival in export orders with demand from markets in the Americas and Middle East compensating for the continued weakness in Europe. This is a especially positive as the UK sorely needs an improvement in trade if we are to make faster progress on rebalancing growth.