Italian manufacturing at its strongest since May 2011

Italian manufacturing has come in stronger than expected, after the sector returned to growth last month.

New data from Markit shows the sector purchasing managers' index rising from 50.4 to 51.3, beyond economist forecasts of a rise to 50.8.

That figure is a May 2011 high, with the output index reaching 54.4, an April 2011 high.

Any number above 50 implies an expansion in the sector.

Phil Smith, economist at Markit:

The recovery in Italy’s manufacturing sector gathered pace in August, with both production and new orders rising to the largest degree since April 2011. Manufacturers’ greatest success again came in export markets, sales in which provided a substantial boost to overall orders.