01 December 2004 | Gareth Mytton
Another rise in new orders from home and abroad led to higher growth in the UK manufacturing sector in November, according to the latest purchasing managers' index.
The PMI - a composite indicator of economic activity from CIPS and NTC Research, in which 50 means no change on the previous month - rose to 55, from 53.5 in October.
Another increase in output also helped the PMI to its highest level since June. Most companies stepped up output to meet rising growth in new orders and exports.
Companies increased their stocks of purchases, mainly to protect against supply bottlenecks, which also hit suppliers' delivery times, and further rises in input prices. At 75.2, the input prices index was the highest since April 1995.
In the euro-zone, November's manufacturing PMI fell to 50.4, with growth coming almost to a halt.
In the US, the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing report on business put the PMI at 57.8, up from 56.8 in September.
• Coverage of previous months' manufacturing, construction and services PMI reports is available at http://www.supplymanagement.com/pmi
• More information on the UK and euro-zone PMIs is available at www.ntc-research.com
• The full text of the ISM reports on the US manufacturing economy for November and previous months is available at http://www.ism.ws/ISMReport/index.cfm.