By Marcus Leach

A survey released by British manufacturers' organisation EEF and accountants BDO has revealed that more than a quarter of UK manufacturers say they have increased output in the last three months.

One of the key reasons cited for the increased output is the rise in demand from overseas, and most firms expect the growth to continue over the coming months.

Recent data had suggested a downturn in fortunes for the manufacturing sector, but the quarterly Manufacturing Outlook points to a brighter outlook.

The EEF survey revealed that 23 per cent of firms reported a rise in new orders in the last three months, although this was down from 30 per cent in the second quarter.

"Across much of the sector, companies are still busy and orders are holding up, particularly from overseas markets," said EEF chief economist Lee Hopley.

"However, conditions have moved on from the broad-based recovery seen over the past 18 months to a more mixed picture, especially around the short-term outlook."

Forecasts for gross domestic product growth have been downgraded by EEF from 1.3 per cent to 1.1 per cent for the remainder of this year, and down from 2.1 per cent to 2 per cent in 2012.

However, EEF added that manufacturing will continue expanding at a faster pace than the economy as a whole.

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