UK-based manufacturers have had an encouraging springtime, with activity in the sector growing at its fastest rate for more than a year. Both new orders and overall output increased, according to the Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing PMIs, with the headline activity index figure standing at 51.3 for May. This was up from 50.2, with figures above 50 indicating growth. May’s figure was the highest recorded since March 2012. And there was more good news for manufacturers, as economists predicted growth to continue getting stronger during the upcoming summer months. Senior Economist at Markit, Rob Dobson, said: “Output is likely to be raised further in the coming months, as firms refill warehouses after stronger than expected demand has led to a sharp depletion in finished-goods stocks. He continued: “The tentative return to job creation in the sector in May also suggests that manufacturers are becoming more confident in the outlook”.Allan Underwood, Corporate Manager for SBF, felt manufacturers should feel positive about their futures: “Manufacturers are starting to see the signs of a stable economic period in their sector, with new order inflows increasing and confidence improving”. “Consequently the manufacturing recession is almost at an end, meaning the sector will now start to drive growth in the wider economy and in turn boost businesses across all sectors”, he concluded.