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Factory order books at lowest since Dec 2011


Expectations for growth have also fallen on concerns for euro zone and global economy

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Factory order books fell to their lowest level since December 2011 in August as the outlook for growth also deteriorated, adding pressure on the chancellor to halt austerity plan, according to new data on Tuesday.

In the latest monthly industrial trends survey, a balance in total order books of 456 manufacturers plummeted to -21 percent, the Confederation of British Industry said.

Export orders in August also fell to their lowest level since January with manufacturers reporting a balance of -17 percent, the study found.

Output is expected to be flat over the next three months following two consecutive months showing expectations for a rise, the CBI said. Output prices are also expected to be flat in the third quarter for the third month in a row.

“Overall demand for manufactured goods has eased back this month, led by a weakening in the consumer goods sector following a strong July figure,” Anna Leach, CBI head of economic analysis, said.

“The economic environment for UK manufacturers remains challenging, with domestic demand relatively muted and the ongoing euro zone crisis now seeming to drag on broader global economic momentum,” she added.

The government is increasingly coming under fire for its failure to kick start the economy despite a series of initiatives to inject cash into the economy. Critics argue that chancellor George Osborne must curb his austerity cuts to allow the economy to grow and instil confidence in businesses and consumers to spend again.

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Factory order books at lowest since Dec 2011
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