RTTNews - U.K.'s manufacturing export orders in June dropped to the lowest level in more than a decade as overseas demand continued to weaken, results of the latest Industrial Trends survey conducted by the Confederation of British Industry or CBI revealed Thursday.

Of the 566 manufacturers surveyed, 6% said export order books were above normal, while 58% described them as below normal. The resulting balance of minus 52% was the lowest since October 1998. It also reversed the slight improvement that was in place since March.

The CBI said there has been a modest improvement in total order book levels. While 10% of firms reported total order books above normal, 61% said they were below normal, giving a balance of minus 51%. That was a slight improvement on the previous four months when the balance hovered between minus 56% and minus 58%.

The CBI's Chief Economic Adviser, Ian McCafferty said,Conditions for U.K. manufacturers remain challenging with volumes of total orders still at very weak levels.

Manufacturers expect output to drop at a much slower pace over the coming quarter compared with earlier in the year. 17% of firms expect the volume of output to increase over the next quarter, while 34% expect it to fall. That gave a balance of minus 17%, which was unchanged on May's figure, but a marked improvement on April's balance of minus 32%.

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