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April 1, 2010    

UK manufacturing activity rises to 15-year high

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by Kay Murchie
”UK

The CIPS/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has today revealed UK manufacturing activity grew at its fastest rate since October 1994 in March.

The closely-watched CIPS/Markit manufacturing PMI climbed to 57.2 in March from 56.5 the previous month.

The index has exceeded the crucial 50 mark, which represents growth, since July 2009 and March’s figure just exceeded analysts’ expectations of a level of 56.8.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit Economics, comments: “The rebound is coming from a broad base by sector and company size, raising hopes that this will prove sustainable.”

Meanwhile, the output component grew from 59.8 in February to 61.9 in March. New order growth dipped slightly in February, but remained close to the six-year high seen in January.

The news comes in the same week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the UK economy grew by 0.4% in the October to December period - slightly higher than the 0.1% and the 0.3% previously estimated.

The UK emerged from recession in the fourth quarter of last year after experiencing its worst recession since records began in 1955.

The ONS said the upward revision was due to a combination of higher services, construction and agriculture output.

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