Recovery spreads across UK

The manufacturing sector’s recovery has spread to almost every part of the UK, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s Regional Trends survey, released this week.

Since October, orders have risen in nine out of 11 regions and stayed the same in the east Midlands, with the only fall being reported in Northern Ireland. However, the province is the only region where manufacturers expect to take on more workers over the next four months.

Exports showed a mixed picture. Over the past four months, exports rose in the south and north east of England and in Scotland, but fell elsewhere.

Optimism about future export performance increased in the south east, Yorkshire and the north east, but fell in Wales and the West Midlands.

Sudhir Junankar, CBI associate director of economic analysis, said: `Companies should not be lulled into a false sense of security by these figures. Export orders are still falling in many regions and manufacturers’ profit margins are still under pressure.’