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UK factory slump eases a little in August - CBI

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UK factory slump eases a little in August - CBI
FILE PHOTO: Laser operator Shaun Clements removes an offcut at Contracts Engineering Ltd, a steel products manufacturer, in Sittingbourne, southeast England, Britain May 9, 2015. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor   -   Copyright  Luke MacGregor(Reuters)
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LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – The downturn in British manufacturing eased off a little in August, although the slowdown in the global economy and the Brexit crisis mean a recovery still looks a way off, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) monthly order book balance rose to -13 from -34 in July. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a weaker reading of -23 in August.

Domestic and export orders were below normal and the CBI’s gauge of expected selling prices fell to its lowest level since February 2016.

Official data earlier this month showed manufacturing output, which accounts for 10% of the economy, dropped in the second quarter at the fastest pace in a decade, contributing to fears of a recession in Britain.

“Despite signs of stabilisation in the data this month, UK manufacturers remain on the receiving end of a double whammy: the slowdown in the global economy and Brexit uncertainty,” CBI deputy chief economist Anna Leach said.

“Trade tensions between nations such as China and the U.S. only exacerbate the demand uncertainty facing UK manufacturers.”

The survey of 286 manufacturers was conducted between July 25 and Aug. 12.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by William Schomberg)

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