London: British manufacturers saw a pick-up in orders in November albeit from near decade-low levels, helped by the avoidance of a no-deal Brexit at the end of October, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Tuesday.
The CBI’s monthly orders balance rose to -26 from -37 in October, their highest level since August and stronger than a median forecast of -31 in a Reuters poll of economists.
October’s level of orders was the weakest in nine years.
“While the thick fog of uncertainty from a no-deal Brexit has lifted somewhat, the manufacturing sector remains under pressure from weak global trade and a subdued domestic economy,” Anna Leach, the CBI’s deputy chief economist, said.
“It’s clear that the outlook for the sector remains precarious.”
Export orders picked up after touching their lowest level since the financial crisis of 2008.
Manufacturers expected output to be flat over the next three months, the CBI said.
The European Union has set a new Brexit deadline of January 31 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called an election for December 12 in a bid to break the impasse in parliament over the divorce deal he negotiated with Brussels.