UK manufacturing 'strongest growth for three years'
The UK's manufacturing sector picked up further in November to its strongest level for almost three years, according to a closely watched survey.
The Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) also showed employment in the sector grew.
The news adds to other recent data showing that the UK economy is putting the economic crisis years behind it.
The PMI stood at 58.4 in November, its highest since February 2011. A reading over 50 indicates growth.
October's figure was revised up to 56.5, adding to the brighter picture for the sector.
The employment sub-index for the manufacturing sector rose to 54.5 in November, up from 51.9 in October.
Markit economist Rob Dobson said UK manufacturing companies were creating about 5,000 jobs a month.
"UK manufacturing continued to hit the high notes in November," he added. "It looks as if the strong recovery in the sector is translating into meaningful job creation."
Another sub-index, for new orders, rose to 64.6 from 61.3, its highest level in more than 19 years.
A separate survey, by the major manufacturers' organisation EEF and business advisers BDO, also pointed to a brightening mood among manufacturers.
It forecast growth in the sector of 2.7% next year, outstripping the 2.4% forecast for overall economic expansion.