LONDON British factory orders improved slightly in November helped by better demand for exports, the CBI's monthly industrial trends survey showed on Thursday.
The Confederation of British Industry survey's total order book balance inched up this month to -21 from -23 in October, below expectations of a reading of -19.
The export order book balance rose to -12 from -22.
However, output expectations dropped to the lowest level since October 2011.
"Overseas demand has improved in this month's survey, but this has not been enough to lift overall demand and support the modest expectation for growth in production levels found in the previous survey," said Anna Leach, the CBI's head of economic analysis.
"Business confidence continues to be undermined by uncertainty over events in Europe and the fast-approaching U.S. fiscal cliff. However, we expect UK growth to pick up somewhat in 2013 as this uncertainty gradually subsides and global growth increases."
(Reporting by Matt Falloon, writing by Olesya Dmitracova)