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U.K. Manufacturers Boost Spending Plans as Orders Rise, CBI Says

U.K. manufacturers’ investment intentions rose in the past quarter as demand for goods increased to the highest in almost three years, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

The CBI’s index of manufacturers’ plans for capital expenditure on buildings in the next year climbed to minus 1 in the three months through January from minus 20, the London-based business lobby group said today. Manufacturers’ forecasts for spending on plants and machinery rose “sharply,” it said.

The report showed that a quarterly gauge of new orders at factories advanced to 13 from 6, the highest reading since April 2011. Bank of England policy maker Ben Broadbent said last week that business investment will probably accelerate this year as the economy recovers.

The outlook for investment in products, process innovation and training declined, though it remains “very robust,” the CBI said.

Expectations for factory orders growth were at their strongest since April 2012. Fewer companies said uncertainty about demand would be a constraint on capital expenditure, according to the CBI.

A monthly measure of orders for January fell to minus 2 from 12 in December as a gauge of export orders dropped 27 points to minus 16.

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