London, United Kingdom (4E) – UK manufacturing sector activity increased higher than anticipated in April, according to a survey released on Thursday, helped by higher domestic and foreign orders.
The monthly manufacturing sector purchasing managers’ index (PMI) by data firm Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply jumped to a five month high of 57.3 in April, compared with 55.8 in the previous month. Economists had projected the index to fall to 55.0.
The figure in March was revised from a previous reading of 55.3. A figure higher than 50 indicates that the sector is expanding, and below that means it is contracting.
The rise in demand is not the only factor that led to the gain in April, new product launches meant production rose while job creation also expanded in April, according to the survey.
Thursday’s report showed a strong start to activity in the second quarter of 2014, and came after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported the U.S. economy grew 0.8 percent compared with the final quarter of 2013, according to preliminary estimates. The data also showed that industrial production climbed 0.8 percent in the three months ended March compared with the earlier quarter.