May 19, 2017 / 10:02 AM / 2 years ago

UK CBI factory orders see fastest growth since February 2015 in May

FILE PHOTO: Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines, designed specifically for the Airbus A350 family of aircraft, are seen on the assembly line at the Rolls Royce factory in Derby, November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Paul Ellis/Pool/File Photo

LONDON, (Reuters) - - British factory orders are growing at the fastest since February 2015, and output in the past three months rose by the most since 2013, a monthly survey by the Confederation of British Industry showed on Friday.

The figures are likely to offer some reassurance that the big fall in the pound after last year’s Brexit vote, twinned with a strong global economy, will boost manufacturers at a time when consumers are under pressure from rising inflation.

The CBI’s May factory order book balance rose to +9 this month from +4 in April, and export order growth returned to the four-year high recorded in March.

“The summer sun has come out early for Britain’s manufacturers. Robust demand at both home and abroad is reflected in strong order books, and output is picking up,” the CBI’s director of economics, Rain Newton-Smith, said.

“On the other side of the coin though, we have mounting cost pressures and expectations for factory-gate price rises are running high,” she added.

The CBI said its measure of factory output growth over the past three months rose to +28 from +22, its highest since December 2013, while its inflation expectations gauge slowed slightly but remained above long-run averages.

Reporting by David Milliken, editing by William Schomberg

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