MANUFACTURING companies are showing signs of recovery, with orders stabilising and predictions of growth in the next few months, according to a new report.
The manufacturers' group EEF said that output has edged up after hitting its weakest point in six years in the final quarter of 2015.
It is still firmly rooted in negative territory, but this may not be for long, with companies predicting positive output growth next quarter, the report said.
Total orders have remained negative in the first quarter, but are similarly up from a six-year low, suggesting that they may have started to stabilise.
However, it added that despite recent improvements, risks remain high and the sector is not out of the woods yet, "with concerns mounting about a more widespread slowdown in the world economy".
The report said manufacturers are still operating in a "storm of global uncertainty", which is impacting on exports and growth plans.
Lee Hopley, chief economist at the EEF, said: "After the gloomy end to last year, this latest data shows a chink of light, but we should not be getting the deckchairs out yet.
"The slide is bottoming out, but the manufacturing sector is still in negative territory and faces a precarious climb back up amid a storm of real uncertainty."
Britain's manufacturers face a tough 2016 as confidence falls
Great start to year for businesses, says Lloyds report
Top MoD chief backs leaving the EU to protect weapons procurement