UK manufacturing hits 14-month high

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The UK manufacturing sector saw activity rise to a 14-month high in May after benefitting from a strong improvement in the domestic market.

Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply’s UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index came in at 51.3 points in May, up from 50.2 in the previous month and remaining above the 50-point mark that indicates an expansion in activity.

The domestic market was the main driver of new order inflows for the UK’s factories, although export business also showed a “modest” increase. Manufacturing operating conditions improved at their fastest pace in over a year, the survey shows.

Markit senior economist Rob Dodson says: “The UK manufacturing sector had a spring in its step in May, as a brightening domestic market led to faster growth of output and new orders. One of the more positive features of the expansion is its broad-base, with producers of consumer, intermediate and investment goods all reporting stronger output growth.

“Following the solid growth registered by the service sector in the first quarter GDP numbers, signs that the manufacturing sector is also recovering will add further weight to the Bank of England’s decision to wait-and-see before adding to its accommodative policy stance.”