Activity in the U.K.'s manufacturing sector posted the fastest growth in over four years in November, as production, new orders and employment all gathered pace, a closely watched survey showed Friday, a sign British factories are benefiting from strong global demand and weakened sterling.
Financial information firm IHS Markit Ltd. said its purchasing managers index for the manufacturing industry, jumped to 58.2 in November, up from the upward-revised reading of 56.6 a month earlier.
November's figure was the highest in 51 months, and came significantly above the expectations of analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal, who forecast only a moderate acceleration and and a reading of 56.7.
The 50-point line separates expansion from contraction in activity.
"On its current course, manufacturing production is rising at a quarterly rate approaching 2%, providing a real boost to the pace of broader economic expansion," said Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
The U.K. economy has slowed markedly this year as inflation, which accelerated sharply after the pound's steep post-Brexit depreciation, began to outpace wages and squeeze consumers--a key engine of growth.
Write to Wiktor Szary at Wiktor.Szary@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 01, 2017 05:06 ET (10:06 GMT)