By Daniel Hunter

Manufacturing activity in the eurozone rose to a 10-month high in March, according to a closely watched survey.

The Purchasing Managers'Index, carried out by Markit, rose to 52.2 in March, up from 51.0 in February.

Any figure above 50 indicates growth.

Markit said the 10-month high was a result of the "fastest expansion of incoming new business" since April 2014. Employment also grew at a three-and-a-half-year high speed.

Ireland and Spain were again the top two performers with individual scores of 56.8 and 54.3 respectively - although these were two month lows for both countries.

There was a significant upturn in manufacturing activity in Italy and Germany - both achieved 11-month highs of 53.3 and 52.8 respectively.

Greece's manufacturing activity rose to a three-month high of 48.9, although the figure below 50 still indicates that it is still in decline.

Meanwhile, a similar survey showed that the UK's manufacturing activity rose to an eight-month high, and has now been growing for 24 consecutive months.