By Marcus Leach

If today's (Wednesday) manufacturing data is a sign of things to come in 2012 then we needn't fear a double-dip recession, despite what the doom and gloom mongers will have you believe.

Whilst we as a country may not be in as rude health as we might wish to be, it is not all bad news. Despite a slowdown in growth at the back end of 2011, as revealed in the DHL/BCC Trade Confidence Index, 2012 has, in the manufacturing sector, started on the right foot.

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) from Markit/Cips reveals that not only has the manufacturing sector returned to growth but it is at an eight-month high, news welcomed by market analysts.

As Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit and author of the Markit/CIPS Manufacturing PMI said, the growth may not be as great as twelve months ago, but it is a huge improvement on recent months and points in the right direction for the rest of the year.

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