The recovery in UK manufacturing is well on track, driven primarily by export orders, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said on Thursday.

The CBI survey showed that output expectations balance rose from +13 to +17, a level consistent with quarterly growth in manufacturing output of over 2 percent, while manufacturers raised output prices markedly during the last quarter.

January’s CBI Industrial Trends Survey suggests that the manufacturing sector has continued to recover at a brisk pace, UK Economist at Capital Economics Samuel Tombs said in a note.

In line with the strengthening in orders and output, sentiment has also improved, the survey found. A balance of +7 percent of firms said that they are more optimistic about the business situation than three months ago, while +18 percent were more optimistic regarding export prospects for the year ahead.

The upbeat tone of the survey therefore chimed with December’s encouraging CIPS [The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply] manufacturing survey and the strong official output data for November, said Tombs.

Ian McCafferty, CBI's chief economic adviser, said the manufacturing sector's recovery is firmly in place and looks set to continue.

Production has been boosted this quarter by a strengthening in both domestic and overseas demand and, over the next three months, companies expect further growth, driven by another rise in export orders.