The UK manufacturing sector ended 2013 on a positive footing, latest figures have shown.
December saw rates of expansion in production and new orders both remain among the highest in the 22-year PMI survey's history, leading to a pace of job creation close to November's two-and-a-half- year record.
Companies benefited from strengthening domestic market conditions and a solid bounce in incoming new export orders.
The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Purchasing Manager's Index posted 57.3 in December, down slightly from November's 33-month high of 58.1, but still a level indicative of a robust improvement in overall operating conditions.
Moreover, the average PMI reading for the final quarter as a whole (57.2) was the highest since Q1 2011.
Manufacturing output rose for the ninth successive month in December, underpinned by rising levels of incoming new work and efforts to clear backlogs of work. Meeting the needs of current and existing contracts also led to a further solid reduction in post-production inventories.
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Source: The Business Desk