LONDON, April 1 Global manufacturing activity
accelerated in March at a pace not seen since May 2004, driven
by production increase in the United States and China and signs
of renewed strength in Europe, a survey showed on Thursday.
The global index, produced by JP Morgan with research and
supply management organisations, rose to 56.7 in March from 55.4
in February, its ninth consecutive month above the 50.0 mark
that divides growth from contraction. Output picked up to 58.8
from 57.7 the previous month.
"Growth of production and new orders regained most of the
momentum lost in February, while global trade volumes rose at a
survey record pace," said David Hensley at JP Morgan.
Stocks of purchases increased for the first time since
December 2006 as firms increased output to match renewed sales.
Manufacturing activity in Britain grew last month at its
fastest pace in 15 years while across the channel the euro
zone's sector factory grew at its fastest pace in over three
The Institute for Supply Management said the U.S.
manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace in more than
five years and Asian countries reported rises in their national
The index combines survey data from countries including the
United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.
(Reporting by Jonathan Cable; editing by Stephen Nisbet)