'Spectacular' year end for sector

BRITAIN's manufacturing sector expanded for the nineteenth month in succession in December but analysts have warned of increasing pressures on costs.

New orders accelerated to the fastest since May, according to the Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI report, as the amount of work won from overseas grew.

The electrical, transport, chemicals and plastics sectors helped increase manufacturing production and new exports rose at the fastest rate since April, as demand increased from clients in continental Europe, the US and East Asia.

This period of recovery created jobs in December, the ninth successive month of expansion, the survey said.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit and author of the PMI, said: "The UK manufacturing sector saw a truly spectacular end to 2010. The PMI rose to a 16-year high and strong export growth pushed rates of expansion in output and new orders to the highest since May. Job creation also stayed close to November's near survey record pace."

Input costs rose at a record rate, however, with clothing, food products and chemicals manufacturers hit hard.