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UK factories have best month for orders since 1988: CBI

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the factory floor at Camira Fabrics in Huddersfield, Britain, May 2, 2017. Picture taken May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

LONDON (Reuters) - British factory orders have hit their highest level in nearly 30 years, according to a monthly Confederation of British Industry survey which is likely to encourage Bank of England policymakers who favor an interest rate hike.

The CBI said its factory order book balance jumped to +16 in June from +9 in May, hitting its highest level since 1988.

Export order growth was its strongest in 22 years, the CBI said, helped by the fall in the pound that was triggered by last year’s Brexit vote.

The strong performance by manufacturers will be noted by the BoE, where three members of the eight-strong Monetary Policy Committee last week voted to raise rates, citing among other factors a pick-up in exports and investment which could help to offset a squeeze in spending for domestic consumers.

On Wednesday, the BoE’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, said he was likely to vote for a rate hike too later this year, as long as the economic data justified it.

Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Alistair Smout