UK manufacturing rises in February as employment surges

yellow digger
Image caption JCB makes its yellow diggers in the UK

UK manufacturing grew faster than expected in February, with employment in the sector expanding at its fastest pace in almost three years.

The Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) ticked up to 56.9 from 56.6 in January, higher than the 56.5 expected by economists. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

It is the eleventh consecutive month that UK manufacturing has expanded.

Jobs growth in the sector rose at its fastest rate since May 2011.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said the sharp rise in job creation should also support the broader economic recovery.

"The survey suggests we should expect another quarter of robust economic growth in the opening quarter of the year," he added.

Manufacturing accounts for around a tenth of Britain's economy.

Despite the strong overall performance, growth in new export orders slowed, due partly to sterling's rise.

Mr Dobson said in February there was "a more noticeable volume of companies who mentioned it [sterling]".

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