Manufacturing firms are enjoying a "surge" in activity as the long-awaited economic recovery starts to take hold, according to a new report.
The EEF said a survey of almost 300 companies showed an improvement in the domestic market, which has often lagged behind exports.
More firms are also planning to invest in their business, said the manufacturers' organisation.
Chief economist Lee Hopley said: "Industry's prospects have brightened considerably in the past few months and it's particularly positive that this improving trend can be seen across all manufacturing sectors. There is growing confidence that improving trading conditions will continue into the final months of this year and then accelerate through the gears in 2014.
"However, while the signs of recovery that have emerged so far this year are positive, the need for better balanced growth from net trade and investment remains a necessity. As companies become more confident about their growth prospects, we need to see this translate into commitments to invest in new capacity, and for this to take place in the UK."
Tom Lawton, of business advisory firm BDO LLP, which helped with the study, added: " A domestic market at its strongest for almost three years, backed by export sales at a two-year high, means UK manufacturers across all sectors and throughout the supply chain are feeling the benefits of an impressive return to confidence."
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