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UK manufacturing shows surprising strength

Despite the fact that the UK manufacturing base has been decimated over the last 20 or 30 years, there are signs that the recovery in the economy has spread through into the manufacturing sector. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply's purchasing managers index rose from 51.8 in November to 54.1 in December - with a figure of over 50 indicative of growth in the sector. There was also good news in the new orders index which rose to 57.4 which is the highest for over two years. So what is going on?

There was also interesting news on the employment front with a slowdown in the number of job losses in the sector, although a number of larger companies are still shedding employing positions as we move into 2010. This encouraging survey has seen a number of investors return to the currency markets and sterling was trading higher against the likes of the dollar and the euro earlier today. Whether this rebound will continue for the rest of the week remains to be seen but this is certainly good news for the UK economy and a surprise start to 2010.

However, many investors will wait until we see a new trend emerge which shows definitive growth in the UK economy and a growth pattern which is sustainable.

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