Exports fell in January but manufacturing growth beat expectations to hit a three-month high, according to a closely watched survey.
The Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose from 51.2 to 52.9 in January. Any figure above 50 indicates growth.
Markit said strong output from some of the UK's biggest manufacturers were to thank for the rising growth as 2016 started.
Rob Dobson, Markit senior economist, said: "The domestic market remains the key growth driver.
"Even after recent easing in the exchange rate, a number of manufacturers are still finding the strength of the pound against the euro is impacting order inflows."