Optimism in smaller UK manufacturers has risen to its highest level since records began in 1988, according to the CBI’s latest SME Trends Survey.
The news comes after small and medium-sized manufacturers reported total orders and output increased from January to April.
Employment rose and is expected to grow at a stronger pace during the next quarter.
The survey of 366 SME manufacturers showed domestic orders increased, whilst export orders bounced back from a fall in the previous quarter. Both are expected to see robust growth in the next quarter.
Output grew for the third consecutive quarter, with output expectations for the next three months at their highest level since January 1995.
Spending for plant and machinery remains firmly positive, at its strongest level since July 1995.
Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said: “It’s very encouraging to see record levels of optimism among smaller manufacturers, on the back of robust growth in domestic and export orders, and a leap in output levels.
“Hiring is also on the up, and is set to strengthen as we look ahead into 2014.
“As confidence beds in, we need to see more firms exporting their products to high-growth markets across the globe, giving a healthy and sustainable boost to the UK’s recovery.”