Manufacturers' optimism has risen more rapidly than at any point in more than 40 years amidst significant increases in orders, according to the CBI's latest industrial trends survey.

It found that a net 33 per cent of manufacturers were more confident about the general business situation than three months ago – the highest since April 1973. The rise was buoyed by growth in orders for a net 27 per cent of manufacturers, including a sizeable boost in export orders.

Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said: “Confidence is rapidly rising among British manufacturers, with a real sense of business optimism. “Our industrial base is seizing a bigger role in the UK’s economic recovery, with output, orders and hiring all on the up.”

This confidence appears to be feeding into investment, with plans for capital expenditure on plant and machinery (relative to last year) the highest for 17 years, and strong plans to invest in training and innovation.

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