Bloomberg News

U.K. Factory Orders Fall as Exports Reach Two-Year Low, CBI Says

December 15, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- A U.K. index of factory orders fell to the lowest in more than a year this month as the crisis in Europe undermined export demand.

The gauge declined to minus 23 from minus 19 the previous month, the Confederation of British Industry said in a report in London today. That’s the lowest since October 2010. A measure of export orders fell to minus 32, the lowest since January 2010, from minus 31.

Bank of England Chief Economist Spencer Dale said this week the U.K. economy may shrink for at least one quarter as the outlook dims in Europe, Britain’s biggest export market. He said policy makers have scope to lift their target for bond purchases from the current 275 billion pounds ($426 billion) in case the crisis worsens.

“The weaker export performance no doubt reflects ongoing instability in the euro area, our biggest export market, and its knock-on impact on prospects for the real economy,” Ian McCafferty, CBI chief economic adviser, said in a statement. “A clear and orderly resolution to the crisis remains essential to prevent further adverse effects.”

A gauge of selling prices rose to 7 this month from 2 in November, the CBI said. A measure of stock adequacy held at 16, while an index of expectations for output for the coming quarter stayed at minus 8.

The CBI conducted the survey of 434 manufacturers from Nov. 24 to Dec. 7.

--With assistance from Mark Evans in London. Editors: Fergal O’Brien, James Hertling

To contact the reporters on this story: Svenja O’Donnell in London at sodonnell@bloomberg.net; Scott Hamilton in London at shamilton8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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