British manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 57.3 in April from 55.8 in March, hitting an 5-month high, reported by Markit Thursday.
The manufacturing sector dominates the British economy, contributing around 15.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
April saw the British manufacturing sector maintain its robust start to the year. The seasonally adjusted index rose to 57.3 and registered one of its best readings over the past three years, said the London-based survey compiler.
The rate of expansion in incoming new work remained elevated in April, accelerating to a 3-month high in April, said Markit. And the growth of new orders was attributed to improved demand for both domestic and export market.
Meanwhile, the level of new business from overseas rose for the thirteenth successive month, reflecting stronger inflows of new work from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle-East, said Markit.
Jonathan Loynes, Chief European Economist at Capital Economics, commented that the data provided some further encouraging evidence of a favourable rebalancing of Britain's economic recovery.
"The unexpected rise in the manufacturing PMI from 55.3 to 57.3 in April reversed the bulk of the steady downward trend of the last few months and both the orders and output index also saw sharp rises."
Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit, said: "UK manufacturing continued its surging start to 2014, with output growth accelerating in April to a level among the highest signalled over the past two decades."
"This places the sector perfectly to build on the robust 1.3 percent expansion in manufacturing production reported by the first estimate of Q1 GDP. The output index from the PMI survey suggests manufacturing output growth in the second quarter may even breach 1.5 percent on its current tack." Enditem