UK manufacturing hit a 16 year high in November, according to the Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index.
The PMI rose to 58, its highest since September 1994, and has now remained above the neutral 50.0 mark for sixteen months running.
David Noble, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said: “This month’s PMI brings some early Christmas cheer for the UK manufacturing sector, particularly the record-breaking growth in employment figures. The reported increase in purchasing activity based on strong new orders points to ongoing recovery and renewed confidence.
“The pickup in export markets continues to expand as customers look to replenish their inventories, building on the momentum gained last month and a step along the way to realigning the UK economy.”
Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, added: “This is welcome news, as the rebalancing of the economy away from consumption towards exports represents a key part of the coalition’s growth strategy, and comes at a time when stronger manufacturing expansion may well be needed to offset a likely slowdown in consumer spending as austerity measures start to bite.”