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Gloom on factory orders.

FACTORY bosses dashed hopes of a New Year revival yesterday as new research showed orders remained well below normal levels.

Manufacturers across the UK told the CBI that demand at home and abroad showed no sign of picking up with almost one in three companies expecting to cut production over winter to run down stock levels.

The CBI's chief economic adviser, Ian McCafferty said: "2005 has been an extremely tough year for UK manufacturers and there are few signs of optimism for the coming months.

"Weak consumer spending continues to have a negative impact on domestic orders and this month's return to poorer overseas sales reflects the very strong global competition faced by UK exporters.

"A severe winter will only compound issues for manufacturers whose production could be constrained by higher gas prices."

The CBI survey for December found that while demand for products improved slightly on the previous two months, total orders remained well below normal.

Of the 737 manufacturers questioned, 37% reported total orders were lower while 15% said they were above average for the time of year
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 13, 2005
Words:180
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