U.K. manufacturing expanded for a second month in January as orders rose and output surged the most since September 2011.
A gauge of factory activity was at 50.8, compared with a revised 51.2 in December, Markit Economics and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said in London today. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. Separate reports today showed euro-area manufacturing shrank less than initially estimated last month, while Chinese manufacturing expanded.
Britain’s economy shrank by a more-than-forecast 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter and the Bank of England said last month that “substantial headwinds to recovery remained.” Still, Markit said the fact that its factory index remains above 50 is an encouraging start to 2013.
“On the surface this is good news for manufacturing and should be welcomed,” CIPS Chief Executive Officer David Noble said in the statement. “However, underlying factors suggest deep rooted problems remain.”
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