May 22, 2014 / 10:16 AM / 4 years ago

UK CBI factory orders stabilise in May as outlook remains strong

LONDON, (Reuters) - British factory orders stabilised in May after a slight fall last month and prospects for the next three months remained strong, the CBI’s monthly industrial trends survey showed on Thursday.

An employee works on a 2013 Mini at BMW's plant in Oxford, southern England November 18, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) total order book balance was 0 this month, up from -1 in April, but below expectations of a reading of +4 in a Reuters poll.

The index measuring output expectations for the next three months held at +32, which jointly with April was the highest reading since September.

“Overall, the manufacturing sector continues to perform well. Output growth is on an upward trend, with firms expecting an even stronger rise in the next three months,” said Katja Hall, deputy director general at the CBI.

However, the export order book balance fell to -9 from -3 in April.

“The recent rise in sterling, coupled with a tepid recovery in the euro zone could weigh on export demand,” said Hall.

Sterling hit a 17-month high against the euro on Wednesday.

Reporting by Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Andy Bruce

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