UK manufacturing growing at its fastest in nearly three years

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Manufacturers are working at their fastest pace in more than two and a half years, according to the latest survey snapshot of the sector.

The Markit/Cips Purchasing Managers’ Index in November jumped to 58.4, up from 56.5 in October, and hitting its highest level since February 2011

A reading above 50 indicates growth.

The PMI survey also showed robust hiring intentions from firms, with the employment sub-index rising to 54.4, the strongest reading since May 2011.

Markit economist Rob Dobson said: “It looks as if the strong recovery in the sector is translating into meaningful job creation”

Firms reported improved inflows of new work from Asia, the US, Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium and the Middle East.

Some analysts said the reading, above the 56 level expected by the City, could raise chances that interest rates will rise sooner than Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has suggested. “[The PMI figure] implies the UK economy is looking in good shape with interest rate rises looking increasingly probable from early 2015,” said James Knightley of ING.