UK factory exports hit by 'global uncertainty', says CBI

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UK factories have seen only limited signs of a recovery in exports amid "global uncertainty", according to a survey from business lobby group CBI.

The three months to January saw new export orders remain "near-flat" - an improvement on the previous quarterly figures which showed a sharp fall.

Optimism about the general business environment remained negative at -4%, up from -12% recorded in October.

Manufacturing has lagged the recovery in the rest of the economy since 2013.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director of economics, said: "Uncertainty around the prospects for global growth, uncompetitive energy costs and the strength of the pound have all played their part in UK manufacturers finding conditions tough when trying to sell overseas."

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