The UK’s manufacturing output grew faster than expected for the month of February, with sector employment expanding as its fastest for three years.
The Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed an increase from January’s 56.6 to 56.9, higher than the predicted 56.5, marking the eleventh consecutive month that UK manufacturing has expanded.
Job creation was at its highest since May 2011, helped along by an improvement in production and new orders.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said the sharp rise in job creation should also support the broader economic recovery across the country.
“The survey suggests we should expect another quarter of robust economic growth in the opening quarter of the year,” he added.
The UK’s improved PMI reflected growth in the Eurozone for February, which scored 53.2 last month, higher than an earlier flash estimate of 53.0 although a slight dip from January’s 32-month high of 54.0.
Stephen Cooper, KPMG’s head of UK industrial manufacturing, said: “This is great news for the UK, and reflective of wider upwards trends in the UK economy where GDP figures increased in 2013 to 1.9%, the highest since 2007.”