Manufacturing (2)

Growth in the UK's manufacturing sector regained its momentum in October after a surprise slump in September.

The Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), a closely watched survey, rose to 55.5 in October, up from 51.8 in September. Any figure above 50 indicates growth.

Ocotber's figure was in fact the fastest monthly growth in over a year. And the rise, from 51.8 to 55.5 is the fastest ever increase in index score in its 24-year history.

Markit said that October's saw solid improvements in the rates of growth in output and new orders, in both cases the sharpest since the middle of last year. The domestic market remained the prime source of new contract wins, while back-to-back increases in new export business were signalled for the first time since the third quarter of 2014.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said: "The revival provides a tentative suggestion that the manufacturers are pulling out of their recent funk, having been dogged by recession since the start of the year, and may help boost economic growth in the fourth quarter. Based on historical comparisons, the survey is consistent with a quarterly rate of growth of around 1%, a vast improvement on what we have seen in recent months. The big question now is whether this bounceback is a one-off or the start of a sustained re-emergence from recession."