RTTNews - Wednesday, the latest monthly Industrial Trends survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed that 17% of the 575 firms surveyed expect the output volume to increase over the next three months, while 34% anticipate a fall. However, the resulting balance of minus 17% was a marked improvement on the previous month's balance of minus 32%.

Thus, firms expect the pace of decline in output to slow significantly in the next quarter, indicating that they believe the toughest phase of the recession may be behind them.

Ian McCafferty, the CBI's Chief Economic Adviser said, After scaling back production very sharply at the beginning of the year, manufacturers can see a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. They still expect manufacturing activity to fall, but at a much slower rate over the next few months.

The survey found that a balance of 56% reported a below normal order books in May. The CBI said export order books remained below par this month despite the relative weakness of sterling.

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