Manufacturers in Britain have clocked up their 22nd month of growth since the Brexit vote, amid a eurozone slowdown.
The closely watched manufacturing PMI survey showed a reading of 54.4 in May, up from 53.9 the previous month. Anything over 50 signals growth.
The eurozone’s reading was a 15-month low of 55, suggesting a recovery which began last year is now fading.
Growth: Employees fit front wheels to a Mini at the BMW Mini car production plant in Oxford, UK manufacturers have clocked up their 22nd month of growth since the Brexit vote
The region was dragged down by Italy and Spain, the third and fourth largest economies in the single currency bloc, amid political turmoil.
The pace of output in Germany, the bloc’s economic powerhouse, also slipped to a 15-month low.
UK manufacturers were boosted by the fall in the pound after the Brexit vote which made wares more attractive to foreign buyers.
But there were warnings that the pick-up in Britain could be only temporary, with a slowdown in new orders and the largest rise in unsold stock in the survey’s 26-year history.
Rob Dobson of IHS Markit, which produces the surveys, said last night: ‘There will need to be a rapid improvement in demand if output volumes are to be sustained in the coming months.’