Reuters reports that British factory orders fell at a faster pace than expected in November, but export orders saw their strongest performance in more than a year, according to a recent survey.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said its monthly manufacturing order books balance was unchanged at -25 in November, against analysts' forecasts for an improvement to -22. The balance of export orders jumped to -13 from -28 in October, to stand at its highest since October 2004.
But the improvement in foreign demand was offset by weak domestic orders, the CBI said. "Robust demand internationally has lifted the export figures, but this has been offset by a deterioration in domestic orders, which is of real concern," said Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser.
Manufacturers' expectations of future output deteriorated. That balance fell to -4 from +2 in October, the lowest since June. The survey showed that companies' margins remain under pressure despite a slight easing in oil prices, with more manufacturers expecting to cut their prices than to raise them in the coming months.