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Global manufacturing gets a boost

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Global manufacturing had generally good news yesterday, as the US and UK industries expanded and activity in China rose slightly, according to the latest figures.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that UK manufacturing reached a 5-month high in April. The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released by Data firm Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply was 57.3 in April. This result was above expectations and compares to the March figure of 55.8.

All figures greater than 50 represent expansion in the market, while figures under 50 mean activity contracted.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that, over in the US, the Institute for Supply Management also released its PMI for April. According to its survey, activity rose to 54.9 in April from 53.7. This was the best result since December 2013.

"Comments from the panel generally remain positive; however, some expressed concern about international economic and political issues potentially impacting demand," the ISM report said.

And as Reuters reports, according to the official Chinese government PMI, activity in China’s manufacturing sector also picked up, though only slightly.

The PMI for China rose to 50.4 in April from March's 50.3.

The nation’s economy has slowed somewhat in recent years as the government attempts to move it from a reliance on exports and investment to increased consumption.

However, as reported yesterday, the news was not so good for Australia’s manufacturing sector. The Australian Industry Group PMI dropped 3.1 points to 44.8 in April.

The PMI has been below 50 all year and the Ai Group called the result a “sharp fall”.

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