OPTIMISM among smaller manufacturers is at its highest level for 26 years, a report has revealed.
A CBI survey says companies have seen domestic orders rise strongly, with export orders also strengthening.
The report comes after firms said total orders and output had rallied in the three months to April.
Companies also expect to create more jobs in the next quarter.
Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said: “It’s very encouraging to see record levels of optimism among smaller manufacturers, on the back of robust growth in domestic and export orders, and a leap in output levels.
“Hiring is also on the up, and is set to strengthen as we look ahead into 2014.
“As confidence beds in, we need to see more firms exporting their products to high-growth markets across the globe, giving a healthy and sustainable boost to the UK’s recovery.”