UK manufacturing at 16-year high

British manufacturing activity hit a 16-year high and added jobs at a record pace in November according to data gathered for a new survey.

The purchasing managers' index (PMI) climbed to 58, compared with a revised rate of 55.4 in October, well ahead of analysts' expectations. The figure was boosted by record growth in manufacturing jobs, said data firm Markit, which helps compile the survey.

Both current output and new orders also rose strongly which is encouraging for future months.

However, some economist have warned that spending cuts could still begin to bear down on the economy over the next six months. Alan Clarke from BNP Paribas says the figures ''reduce the urgency for quantitative easing''.

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