U.K. Factory-Orders Slump Eased in January, CBI Report Says

A slump in U.K. manufacturing demand eased in January, according to the Confederation of British Industry, which said the outlook for growth remains threatened by the crisis in the euro area.

An index of factory orders rose to minus 16 from minus 23 in December, the CBI said in a report in London today. A gauge of export orders increased to minus 26 from minus 32.

Producers were optimistic on the outlook for the coming three months, with a gauge of expectations for output volumes rising to 15 from minus 8, the first positive reading since September. A measure of expectations for selling prices over the period rose to 13 from 7.

“We know that 2012 will not be an easy year,” John Cridland, CBI director general, said in a statement. “The crisis in the euro zone is still hanging over the U.K., threatening future growth. Nevertheless, within the survey there are tentative signs that things could improve somewhat in the coming quarter.”

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