UK manufacturing saw its strongest growth in two years in June, according to a survey, boosting hopes of a strengthening economic recovery.
The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 52.5 last month – its highest level since May 2011.
Any reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.
The figure adds to the increasingly positive data released in recent weeks on the UK economy, which grew by 0.3% in the first three months of the year.
Other data suggests the services sector is showing signs of strength, and the construction sector – which has been a drag on growth – is stabilising.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said he now expected GDP growth in the second quarter of about 0.5%.
“The near-term outlook for output also remains on the upside,” he said.
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