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U.K. Factory-Orders Index Rises to Highest Level in 18 Years

BMW Mini Production in Oxford
Employees work on newly manufactured Mini automobiles, produced by Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, as they move along the production line at the company's Cowley plant in Oxford. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

A measure of new orders at U.K. factories rose to the highest in almost two decades in November and expectations for the next three months improved, the Confederation of British Industry said.

The CBI’s manufacturing gauge climbed to 11 from minus 4 in October, the highest since March 1995, it said in London today. That exceeded the median estimate of 14 economists in a Bloomberg News survey for a reading of 1. An index of output expectations rose to 24 from 9.

The London-based business lobby raised its forecasts for U.K. economic growth this month and said business investment and trade will pick up in 2014. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said last week the recovery has “finally taken hold” as he pledged to keep interest rates at a record low until unemployment falls to at least 7 percent.

An index of export order books improved to 1 this month from minus 12 in October and a gauge of the outlook for selling prices for the next three months rose to 5 from minus 2. The CBI surveyed 345 manufacturers between Oct. 24 and Nov. 13.

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