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Conditions in the UK manufacturing sector continued to improve at the end of the third quarter. Rates of expansion in output and new orders accelerated further, rising at rates rarely achieved since the middle of 2014. The domestic market remained a prime driver of new business wins, while the weaker sterling exchange rate drove up new orders from abroad.
At 55.4 in September, up from 53.4 in August, the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index® (PMI® ) rose to its highest level since June 2014. Furthermore, the rebound in the PMI level since its EU-referendum related low in July has been sufficient to make the third quarter average (52.3) the best during the year-to-date.
September saw manufacturing production expand at the quickest pace since May 2014. Growth was led by the consumer goods sector, where output rose at the quickest pace in one-and-a-half years. There were also substantial and accelerated increases at intermediate (11-month high) and investment (eight-month high) goods producers.
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