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[London] British factory export orders fell in the three months to October at the fastest pace since January 2013, according to a survey from the Confederation of British Industry published on Thursday.
In a sign of how the slowdown in the euro zone is hurting British manufacturers, the CBI's quarterly industrial trends survey showed its balance for the volume of export orders fell to -7 in October from a reading of zero in July.
The total new orders balance fell to +9 in the three months to October from +24 in July, hitting its lowest level in a year. "It's disappointing that a sluggish exports market has taken some of the steam out of manufacturing growth, which was going from strength to strength throughout most of this year," said Rain Newton-Smith, director of economics at the CBI.
"However, growth in orders and output is expected to continue ahead, albeit with expectations moderating, and domestic orders have continued to rise at a healthy pace. And it is encouraging that job numbers are growing." The CBI's monthly total order book balance fell to -6 in October, its lowest level since July last year and down from -4 in September.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected it to hold steady at -4.
The latest official data showed British industrial and manufacturing output rose 0.3 per cent in June, weaker than forecast.