Manufacturing contractors are being advised to select their clients carefully during the next quarter, as a predicted fall in the number of export orders could affect their growth prospects.

The strong pound sterling during the first six months of the calendar year has reduced contractors’ competitiveness on the continent and is likely to impact on their chance of sourcing long-term contracts through 2016.

Flexible workers within the industry are still set to benefit from a steady rise in growth, however, with the latest CBI Quarterly Industrial Trend Survey showing that new orders, employment numbers and output will improve during the next three months.

Growth in the industry has now been recorded between January and March and April and June, although the rate was slightly slower during the second quarter.

More respondents are now expecting to invest more money into plans for new machinery and building expansions, despite the fact that export orders are set to fall in the near future due to sterling rises and economic and political conditions abroad.

CBI deputy director general Katja Hall said: “Manufacturers are continuing to feel the pressure from the stronger pound. Greater buoyancy in exports remains a missing element from the UK’s recovery. Nevertheless we’re encouraged by the government’s commitment to take steps to address this as part of its productivity plan.”

She continued: “The EU remains our largest trading partner, so while the UK economy’s direct exposure to Greece is minimal, we must encourage all leaders to act decisively to preserve growth and stability throughout the eurozone.”

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