UK CBI says factory orders strongest since March 1995

LONDON (Reuters) - British factory orders have jumped unexpectedly this month to their strongest level since March 1995, the Confederation of British Industry's monthly industrial trends survey showed on Thursday.

The CBI survey's total order book balance rose to +11 this month to from -4 in October, well above expectations of a reading of 0 and the long-run average of -17.

The balance for total output over the previous three months surged to +29 from +8, the highest level since January 1995 and again well above the long-run average of +2.

Growth was widely spread, with electrical engineering being the only sector to see a decline.

"This new evidence shows encouraging signs of a broadening and deepening recovery," said Stephen Gifford, the CBI's director of economics. "Manufacturers finally seem to be feeling the benefit of growing confidence and spending within the UK and globally," he added.

Britain's Office for National Statistics reported 2.2 percent annual industrial output growth in September, the fastest in more than two years, helped by a rebound in oil and gas production.

Earlier on Thursday the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reported the strongest growth in car production so far this year, driven mostly by domestic demand.

(Reporting by David Milliken)