While manufacturing in the eurozone is still looking queasy, the UK is made of stronger stuff, with activity in June expanding at its fastest in seven months.
Markit reported a reading of 57.5 in June for its manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), up from 57.0 in May – its second-highest reading in 40 months, beaten only by last November’s 57.8.
The news helped sterling make fresh gains – the euro hit a session low of 79.90p and the pound gained a quarter of a cent to $1.7125.
Rob Dobson, Markit senior economist, said:
UK manufacturing continued to flourish in June, rounding off one of the best quarters for the sector over the past two decades. With levels of production surging higher, and order books swollen by a further upswing in demand from both domestic and overseas clients, job creation accelerated to its highest for over three years.
The goods-producing sector has clearly maintained its leading position in spurring broader economic growth. We expect official manufacturing production to have expanded in the second quarter at a pace above the 1.5 per cent registered in the first quarter, making further headway into recovering pre-crisis output levels.
Here’s the Markit chart: