Hope of bright 2013 in UK lifted by 15-month factory activity high

Ben Southwood
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ECONOMISTS registered hope for the UK economy after factory data out yesterday put December as the best month since mid-2011.

The UK’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) climbed to 51.4 in December, Markit said, a 15-month high, and up from 49.1 in November. This pushed the sector back above the crucial no-change level of 50 and therefore back into expansion. The sub-index for output enjoyed an even healthier 20-month high.

Analysts said this data would drive hopes that the economy could turn over a new leaf after the gloomy times seen over the last year. “Manufacturers will hope that the solid upturn in production volumes is the first sign of a more stable footing going into 2013,” said David Noble, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, who co-authored the data.

And this recovery could take hold even more firmly if the US and Asia enjoy more substantial expansion in the coming year.