The rise in order books for the nation's manufacturing has continued, with the latest monthly CBI Industrial Trends survey finding order books close to a 30 year high.
Factories have benefitted from an economic recovery elsewhere in Europe and beyond, and from the fall in the value of the pound after last year's referendum decision to leave the European Union.
28% of manufacturers reported total order books to be above normal, and 11% said they were below normal, giving a balance of +17% (joint highest with last month and August 1988).
Moreover, the survey of 371 manufacturers, fund that export order books weakened slightly compared with November's record levels, but remained strong.
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Manufacturing accounts for only 10 per cent of Britain's economy. Howard Archer, an economist with EY Item Club, a forecasting organisation, said as well as helping exporters, the weaker pound appeared to have encouraged some firms to switch to domestic sources for supplies.
Factories in the United Kingdom enjoyed another month of strong demand in December, with orders staying at their highest level in nearly three decades.
Samuel Tombs, chief United Kingdom economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: "The recent progress in Brexit talks might give manufacturers confidence to undertake investment projects that they have delayed over the last 18 months".
"The risk, then, is that the United Kingdom economy fails to capitalise fully on the recovery in global trade and remains the Group of Seven's laggard next year", he said.
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