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    Britain’s exporters and builders merchants report a strong performance in first quarter of 2017

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    The Engineering Bosses’ Federation (‘EEF’), has reported a “surge in performance” for British manufacturers, with the devaluation of the GB Pound and rise in confidence in global markets largely responsible for the strong results. Meanwhile, builders merchants have announced a growth of 6% in 2017 with the housebuilding industry seeing significant recent activity. After the latest quarterly survey of its members, the EEF said confidence in  the industry was such that the federation was revising up its forecasts of economic growth in manufacturing from 1.3 per cent against a previous forecast of 1 per cent. As manufacturing remains a relatively small proportion of the economy, the EEF admitted that its revisions did not move the dial for GDP in general. It still expects GDP growth of 1.8 per cent this year and 1.3 per cent in 2018. Lee Hopley, the EEF’s chief economist, said – “the recovery in manufacturing globally is a big part of the story; it’s very encouraging that UK manufacturers have positioned themselves to capitalise on a competitive pound and resurgent world economy. Growth and confidence hasn’t been knocked off track by the snap election, but it is not plain sailing from here. Whoever forms the next government must set in stone as a matter of urgency a bold industrial strategy.” In another recent report, the GFK market research agency said its latest builders merchants building index found the sector grew by 5.9 per cent in the first quarter.

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