Surging output and an influx of orders helped British manufacturing activity grow last month at a much faster rate than expected, a survey showed on Thursday, boding well for Britain's swift economic recovery.
The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index(PMI) rose in April to 57.3, its highest reading since November, compareda March reading of 55.8 that was revised up from 55.3.
Readings above 50denote growth and the latest reading was above all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists that pointed to 55.4.
In further signs of strength in manufacturing, which accounts for around a 10th of Britain's economy, factories took on staff at a faster pace last month.
The output indexrose sharply to an eight-month high, while new orders grew at a faster rate thanks to improved demand from domestic andexport markets.
"This places the sector perfectly to build on the robust 1.3 percent expansion in manufacturing production reported by the first estimate of Q1 GDP," said Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compiler Markit.
Britain's economygrew 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year, and 3.1 percent compared with the sameperiod a year ago - its best showing in more than six years.
Inflation fell toits lowest in over four years in March, and the latest PMI showed price pressures in manufacturing eased further in April.
"The backdrop... remains one of generally subdued inflationary pressures in the UK, meaning that the Bank of England will likely maintain a wait-and-see track until later in the year," said Dobson.
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