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Manufacturing slows but confidence is up


The manufacturers’ organisation EEF has released a study of its members showing that growth in the UK manufacturing sector has slowed, but that investment and recruitment are still priorities for business owners.


The survey covered near to 300 manufacturers, many of whom said that both orders and output were down throughout August. Export orders are also reportedly down for the first time since early 2013.


Chief Economist at the EEF, Lee Hopley, said: ‘Manufacturers are still on course for a strong year of output growth in 2014, but our survey points to a moderation in the pace of expansion from the take-off seen in activity over the past year.


‘We’re also seeing manufacturers continue to recruit for skilled jobs and increase their plans to invest in the coming year – exactly what the UK economy still needs for balanced growth’.


The British Chambers of Commerce recently predicted that the Government will fail in plans to double British exports to £1 trillion by 2020, citing concerns over the Eurozone economy and the strength of the pound.


Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at financial information service Markit, said that expansion in the UK is still slightly above its long-term average, despite the recent slowdown.