UK manufacturing orders were flat in the three months to January, while output was stable for the second successive quarter, it has been reported.
Research conducted by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found that 25 per cent of firms saw orders rise in the last three months, while 28 per cent saw them fall.
Within total orders, export orders continued to fall for the third consecutive quarter.
However, manufacturers anticipate a resumption of growth in export orders in the coming three months (+7 per cent), underpinning fairly robust expectations for total orders (+14 per cent).
Anna Leach, head of economic analysis at the CBI, said that with domestic demand and business optimism having steadied, export demand "remains a concern for manufacturers".
She noted that orders are continuing to fall, albeit at a slower rate.
"There are encouraging signs of stability in overall demand, however, with domestic orders, export orders and production expected to rise in the quarter ahead," Ms Leach stated.
Earlier this month, the British Chambers of Commerce described the manufacturing output figure for November 2012 as "disappointing".
David Kern, chief economist at the organisation, noted that output was down by 0.3 per cent in the UK, and 2.1 per cent on the year.
He said that the majority of commentators had predicted an increase, based upon reported levels of activity among manufacturers.
Posted by Dan Smith