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Markit Economics released its manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the U.K. on Wednesday. The Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply manufacturing PMI for the U.K. rose to 50.1 in May from 49.4 in April, exceeding expectations for a rise to 49.6. April's figure was revised up from 49.2.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, below indicates contraction.
The increase was driven by rises in new orders, input costs and average selling prices.
"The manufacturing sector continued its lacklustre start to 2016. Although key indicators for output, new orders and the headline PMI all ticked higher in May, the latest survey is still consistent with around a 0.8% quarterly decline in the official ONS Manufacturing Production Index," Markit's Senior Economist Rob Dobson said.
"There are signs that increased client uncertainty resulting from slower growth and the forthcoming EU referendum is weighing on investment spending," he added.
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