June 20, 2013 / 10:13 AM / 7 years ago

UK manufacturing firms less confident about future

LONDON (Reuters) - British factory orders barely picked up this month and firms grew less confident about the future, an industry survey showed on Thursday.

The Confederation of British Industry’s total order book balance nudged up to -18 in June from -20 in May, disappointing economists who had expected a reading of -15.

Firms also tempered their expectations of future output growth, with that index falling to 10, less than half the average of the previous three months.

Export orders also deteriorated slightly, falling to -22 from -17.

The weaker-than-expected survey contrasts with upbeat retail sales data released by Britain’s national statistics office earlier in the day.

“Manufacturers are treading water with domestic and export orders stagnant,” said Stephen Gifford, director of economics at the industry group.

Reporting by Christina Fincher, editing by William Schomberg

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