The latest quarterly Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Industrial Trends Survey has shown that the UK's manufacturers have reported strong growth in orders from both home and abroad over the first quarter of 2017.
The survey of 397 manufacturers revealed that export orders recorded the strongest growth in six years. This was mainly down to demand for UK goods from non-EU buyers.
It found that export orders rose by 22%, the highest since April 2011 (24%). Optimism about export prospects for the year ahead (+30%) climbed at the quickest rate since July 1973 (+33%).
However, the weak pound continued to push up costs, with manufacturers reporting the strongest rises in unit costs in six years.
CBI Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith, said: “Exports have surged and firms are at their most optimistic about selling overseas in over four decades. Even so, the combination of the weak pound and recovering commodity prices means that cost pressures continue to build, and manufacturers report no sign of them abating over the near-term.”