British business index at 25-month high

July 1, 2013 at 8:41 AM
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LONDON, July 1 (UPI) -- Britain's manufacturing sector expanded in June thanks to growing demand, Markit Economics said Monday.

The headline business activity index, known as the Purchasing Managers Index, rose from a 14-month high of 51.3 to a 25-month high of 52.5.

Numbers in the index above 50 indicate growth.

"Growth of output and new orders gain[ed] momentum," in the moth, Markit said. At the same time, "Price pressures remain[ed] subdued," the monthly report said.

Markit said the gains were "broad-based, with all of the sub-sectors covered by the survey signalling increases." The strongest rate of growth, Markit said, was in textiles and clothing, as well as in manufacturing of food and beverages.

New orders rose for the fourth consecutive month with domestic demand "solid" and demand growth coming from China, Europe, North America, Scandinavia and the Middle East.

The survey suggests that manufacturing output rose by around 0.5 percent over the second quarter.

"Taken with recent signs of service sector strength and a stabilizing construction industry it paints a

picture of U.K. economic growth picking up from the opening quarter's 0.3 percent to at least 0.5 percent," said Markit economist Rob Dobson.

"It therefore seems increasingly unlikely that the Bank of England's policymakers will opt for further asset purchases at its meeting later this week," Dobson said.

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