MANUFACTURERS are at their most optimistic for more than 40 years, a study has said.
The CBI quarterly industrial trends survey says firms have been buoyed by strong orders.
It said growth in total order books and domestic orders was at a 19-year high, with the number of new jobs created at its strongest since October 2011.
The survey, which looked at 405 companies, said 38 per cent had reported an increase in orders for the three months to April, with 32 per cent revealing a rise in output.
Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said: “Confidence is rapidly rising among UK manufacturers, with a real sense of business optimism.
“Our industrial base is seizing a bigger role in the UK’s economic recovery, with output, orders and hiring all on the up.
“There are still bumps in the road ahead, with only a tepid recovery likely in the Eurozone, the pound creeping higher and a rapidly evolving situation in Ukraine.
“However, expectations for growth in the coming three months are positive and manufacturers plan to significantly ramp up investment in the year ahead.”