The survey of 379 manufacturers showed total order books had fell slightly compared with the previous months, however Export orders remained strong and well above the long run average.

Driven by the ‘food, drink and tobacco’ sector, output growth remained extensive overall with 13 out of 17 sub sectors reporting growth. Manufacturers expect this trend to continue in the coming months.

Meanwhile, output price inflation expectations remained firm, and mostly parallel to those seen over the last six months. We expect UK manufacturers to continue benefitting from healthy external demand and a lower sterling exchange rate.

However overall economic growth is expected to remain subdued, reflecting weak household income growth and investment being held back by ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

Anna Leach, CBI Head of Economic Intelligence, said: “Manufacturing growth remains strong, supported by the lower level of sterling and strong global economy. But risks to that growth remain high considering international trade tensions and the uncertainty caused by Brexit. Firms will be keen to see urgent progress on the Withdrawal Agreement to lock in transition, which is crucial to continuing frictionless trade as the UK leaves the EU.

“Make no mistake, a ‘no deal’ scenario would be immensely damaging not just for UK manufacturers, but also the rest of the EU. Therefore, both sets of negotiators need to demonstrate flexibility and compromise to protect trade flows worth 600 billion euros each year, particularly against the backdrop of increasing protectionist rhetoric.”

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