Surging output, influx of orders help UK manufacturing activity grow far faster than expected in April; Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI rose to 57.3, its highest reading since November, from 55.8 in March

LONDON , May 1, 2014 () – Surging output and an influx of orders helped British manufacturing activity grow last month at a much faster rate than expected, a survey showed on Thursday, boding well for Britain's swift economic recovery.

The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose in April to 57.3, its highest reading since November, compared a March reading of 55.8 that was revised up from 55.3.

Readings above 50 denote growth and the latest reading was above all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists that pointed to 55.4.

In further signs of strength in manufacturing, which accounts for around a 10th of Britain's economy, factories took on staff at a faster pace last month.

The output index rose sharply to an eight-month high, while new orders grew at a faster rate thanks to improved demand from domestic and export markets.

"This places the sector perfectly to build on the robust 1.3 percent expansion in manufacturing production reported by the first estimate of Q1 GDP," said Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compiler Markit.

Britain's economy grew 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first three months of the year, and 3.1 percent compared with the same period a year ago - its best showing in more than six years.

Inflation fell to its lowest in over four years in March, and the latest PMI showed price pressures in manufacturing eased further in April.

"The backdrop ... remains one of generally subdued inflationary pressures in the UK, meaning that the Bank of England will likely maintain a wait-and-see track until later in the year," said Dobson.

Detailed PMI data are only available under licence from Markit and customers need to apply to Markit for a licence. To subscribe to the full data, click on the link below: For further information, please phone Markit on +44 20 7260 2454 or email (Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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