Manufacturing activity rises

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Britain’s beleaguered manufacturing sector may finally be emerging from recession after recording its best performance in 14 months.

The latest purchasing managers’ index from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (Cips) showed a headline reading of 51.3 for May, up from a revised 50.2 in April and above the 50 level that separates growth from contraction.

David Noble, chief executive at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (Cips), said: “There’s more work to do, but this is a solid foundation which bodes well for the future.”

Lee Hopley, chief economist at manufacturing trade body EEF, said the figures signalled “the strong likelihood of a positive second quarter for the sector”.