Food and drink manufacturers are defying the economic gloom with continued strong performances, new figures suggest.

Sixty percent of Food & Drink Federation members reported an increase in sales in the third quarter this year, while just 15% reported a fall.

While almost two-thirds of members (64%) expected to put up prices up by the end of the year, more than half predicted sales would also grow over the period.

Investment in new products also remains strong, with one in three saying they had launched new lines in the third quarter. And 44% said they were set to roll out new products by the end of the year.

“Continued uncertainty over the performance of the UK economy means members remain cautious, but they have not cut their investment in physical and human resources or delayed taking products to market,” said FDF competitiveness director Angela Coleshill.

“Overall, it’s an encouraging outlook for the UK’s largest manufacturing sector.”

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