The Purchasing Managers Index for manufacturing hit a 16 year high in April, according to Markit/CIPS.
The seasonally adjusted PMI rose to 58.0 in April, from an upwardly revised figure of 57.3 in March. It has now signalled an improvement in operating conditions in each of the past seven months.
Manufacturing production increased for the eleventh month running in April, with the rate of expansion only slightly below March’s fifteen-and-a-half year high. Underpinning the latest rise in output was the sharpest growth in total new business since January 2004 and a series record increase in new export orders. The forward-looking new orders to inventories ratio also stayed at an elevated level, suggesting production will continue to rise at a rapid pace in coming months.
David Noble, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: “This performance of the UK manufacturing sector is hugely encouraging as it is proving surprisingly resilient. It is now growing at a rate of knots – maintaining the momentum gained in Q1 and faring much better than we could have dared hope for this time last year.