Business

Boost for export orders as pound slumps in wake of Brexit vote

The UK's manufacturers have seen export orders reach a two-year high

THE UK's manufacturers have seen export orders reach a two-year high thanks to the plunge in the value of the pound following the Brexit vote, a report has said.

The CBI Industrial Trends Survey said export orders reached their highest since August 2014, hitting minus 6 this month, up from minus 22 in July.

Total orders came in above expectations, dropping to minus 5 in August, down from minus 4 in July, but above economists' predictions of a fall of minus 10.

The report said the slide in sterling appeared to be fuelling stronger overseas demand, with chemical manufacturers accounting for more than half of the rise in orders.

However, it added price expectations for three months ahead rose to its highest level since February 2015, triggered in part by the rising cost of raw material following the fall in the UK currency.

Anna Leach, CBI head of economic analysis and surveys, said the pound's weakness was proving a "double-edged sword", helping exports but pushing up costs and prices.

"The most significant effects of the vote to leave the EU will flow over the medium- to long-term," she added.

"Therefore, firms need to see ambitious decisions in the Autumn Statement that will secure the UK's economic future as changes to trade, regulation and access to skills loom on the horizon."

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