A sharp rise in western Europe's electrical- and mechanical-engineering industries is predicted by Orgalime, a Brussels-based trade body for these sectors. The boost is being generated by a pick-up in demand in manufacturing and investment. This in turn is boosted by continuing robust demand in the U.S. and a stronger recovery than expected in Asia -- two of the main markets for Europe-based engineering groups. Orgalime's economists believe the European engineering industry will increase production volumes by 4.4% this year, compared with the 3.5% they forecasted six months ago. The recovery is expected to be particularly strong in Britain, where export expectations are focused on improvement after being held down by the highly priced British pound sterling. Europe's engineering industries employ more than 7.6 million people and have combined sales of over $956 million a year, half of which is exported. These sectors represent more than one-quarter of European manufacturing output and one-third of exports.