International Trade

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Small manufacturer optimism “highest on record”

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It found in the three months to April that 46 per cent of firms were more optimistic about their situation versus 10 per cent who said they were less optimistic, giving a net figure of 36 per cent – the highest since the survey began in 1988.

The survey found a boost in export orders and increasing confidence about exporting, and suggested that hiring is on the up and will continue to grow.

Katja Hall, the CBI’s chief policy director, said: “It’s very encouraging to see record levels of optimism among smaller manufacturers, on the back of robust growth in domestic and export orders, and a leap in output levels.

“As confidence beds in, we need to see more firms exporting their products to high-growth markets across the globe, giving a healthy and sustainable boost to the UK’s recovery.”

Related: Manufacturing returning to ‘quality’ UK as cost advantage overseas diminishes

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