September 24, 2018 / 10:06 AM / 3 months ago

UK factory orders weaken in September as exports fade - CBI

An employee is seen working at the new production facility for Electric motor manufacturer YASA in Oxford, Britain, February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

LONDON, (Reuters) - British manufacturers’ order books slipped in September, as export business weakened with little more than six months to go before Brexit, an industry survey showed on Monday.

The Confederation of British Industry’s monthly factory orders balance fell to a four-month low of -1 from +7 in August, although remained above the series’ long-run average.

The CBI’s gauge of export orders fell to its lowest level since October 2017.

Britain is to exit the European Union in March next year but the country’s path out of the bloc is unclear. After weeks of positive noises about the prospects of clinching a divorce deal and one on a future trading relationship, the mood between Britain and the EU turned sour last week.

“While manufacturing order books remain strong and output is still growing, Brexit uncertainty continues to cloud the outlook,” CBI head of economic intelligence Anna Leach said.

“Heightened fears of a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario have prompted some firms to move publicly from contingency planning to action.”

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