UK's manufacturing sector best in 14 months as it begins to expand again

The UK's manufacturing sector has begun to expand, as revealed by data from Markit's purchasing manager's index (PMI).

PMI leapt up from last month's reading of 49.8 to 51.3. Any number above 50 would imply that the sector is expanding. However, April's figure also saw revisions from 49.8 to 50.2, so the expansion likely began then.

The latest figure is the greatest rate of expansion since March 2012. The pound rallied against the dollar on the news.

David Noble, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply:

Optimism abounds in the manufacturing sector as continued growth, improving economic conditions, new orders and job creation all contribute to a 14-month high for the PMI in May. The industry, battered and bruised in the last 18 months, is still building from a low base and as ever, there’s more work to do, but this is a solid foundation which bodes well for the future.