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Business News

Manufacturing sector sees strongest growth for more than a year


Britain’s manufacturing malaise might finally be coming to an end after the strongest growth for more than a year in May, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said today.

The sector — for so long a drag on recovery — managed to advance for a second successive month as the CIPS’s activity index advanced from 50.2 to 51.3. A score over 50 signals industry expansion.

Firms said a recovering domestic market was the main driver of new orders although new export business rose modestly. Chief executive  David Noble said: “This is a solid foundation which bodes well for  the future.”

The signs of strength look likely to take further money-printing off the agenda this week at the Bank of England’s latest policy meeting — outgoing Governor Sir Mervyn King’s last after 16 years.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compiler Markit, said: “Signs that the manufacturing sector is recovering will add further weight to the Bank’s decision to wait and see before adding to its accommodative policy stance.”