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The Confederation of British Industry’s latest ‘Industrial Trends Survey – Total Orders’ came in at -5 in April following March’s 1 reading and fell short of the market expectation of 3. According to the CBI, a reading below 0 indicates pessimism.

Other details of the report revealed that Business Optimism improved slightly to -13 from -23 and Selling Prices fell to 1 to miss the analysts’ estimate of 8.

Commenting on the performance of the manufacturing sector, “It’s encouraging that securing a Brexit extension has removed the cliff edge of a no-deal for now. However, it does not give manufacturers the longer-term certainty that they desperately need to invest in their businesses. For the good of the UK manufacturing sector, politicians must use this time well and come back with a renewed effort to get a deal over the line,”  Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said.