MANUFACTURERS are enjoying strong growth thanks to increasing UK sales as well as a boost in exports,according to a new report.

The manufacturers organisation EEF said the positive outlook was leading to record recruitment and investment plans.

A survey of more than 300 companies showed that investment intentions were at record levels, while strong trading conditions were spreading to all regions of the country.

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EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said: "This is the most positive set of indicators we have seen for some time, demonstrating that weve not just turned the corner, were actively heading down the right road.

"Manufacturers are clearly feeling more confident as their order books fill up and exports are strong. It is now vital that Government does all that it can to underpin support for companies, giving manufacturers the confidence to fulfil their investment and recruitment plans."

Tom Lawton of BDO, which helped with the report, said: "The broad nature of the recovery that this survey points to is a source for particular encouragement as it has been some time since all sectors have been moving in the right direction.

"The fact that this is underpinned by a significant strengthening of exports, especially to Europe, adds further stability to the foundations of growth."