The Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 52.1 in March from an upwardly revised 51.5 in February – hitting the highest level since May 2011.
Glynn Bellamy, UK Head of Aerospace and Defence at KPMG, said:
“It would seem that British manufacturing is faring well and the dark cloud overshadowing the close of last year is fading. While the Eurozone crisis is far from over, manufacturers feel as though it is at least under control – this is reflected in the PMI returning to levels not experienced since the ‘Greek conundrum’ first gained widespread prominence.
“UK manufacturers in particular are positive about growth over the next year. Whilst caution exists with respect to the Eurozone, UK manufacturing is benefiting from a combination of increased industrial activity in North America – still a major export market – and continued opportunities in economies such as China and India which remain major growth engines despite a marginal slowdown. The positive PMI data comes on the back of increasingly positive messages from sectors such as automotive and aerospace where UK manufacturers have an established global presence.
“Although wariness over the stability of the Euro remains a threat, as do rising commodity prices, the actions undertaken by many UK manufacturing businesses over the last few years are starting to pay dividends with businesses having widened their reliance from traditional core markets. In the medium to long term this should lead to a more robust UK manufacturing sector.”
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