LONDON (Reuters) - The decline in British factory orders eased off in December as more of the economy reopened following a second nationwide coronavirus lockdown, a survey showed on Friday.
The Confederation of British Industry's monthly manufacturing order book balance rose to -25 from November's -40, the strongest reading in 10 months.
A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a reading of -34.
"The rollout of the Covid vaccine brings hope that conditions for manufacturers will improve in the coming months," CBI deputy chief economist Anna Leach said.
"The government must continue to do what it can to support companies through the winter while demand remains disrupted by Covid restrictions," she added.
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(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)