The UK manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace in January following a modest recovery in export orders, a closely-watched survey has indicated.
The latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53 from 52.7 in December. A figure above 50 indicates growth.
Cheaper oil led to a sharp drop in costs for companies, the survey found.
Markit said the lower costs led to factories cutting their prices for only the second time in the past five years.
The figures suggest that manufacturing output is rising by about 0.2% a quarter, according to Markit, a a slight improvement on the 0.1% growth recorded in the last three months of 2014.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said that pace meant the sector would “provide little meaningful boost” to the economy in the first quarter.
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