- Manufacturing activity in the U.K. expanded at the fastest pace in seven months in June, fuelling optimism over the country’s economic outlook, industry data showed on Tuesday.

In a report, market research group Markit said that its U.K. manufacturing PMI improved to a seasonally adjusted 57.5 last month from a reading of 57.0 in May. Analysts had expected the index to dip to 56.8 in June.

On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.

The PMI has now signaled expansion throughout the past 16 months. Furthermore, the average index reading during the second quarter is the highest since the first quarter of 2011.

Commenting on the report, Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compiler Markit, said, “We expect official manufacturing production to have expanded in the second quarter at a pace above the 1.5% registered in the first quarter, making further headway into recovering pre-crisis output levels.”

Following the release of the data, the pound turned higher against the U.S. dollar, with GBP/USD rising 0.15% to trade at 1.7131, compared to 1.7103 ahead of the data.

Meanwhile, European stock markets were higher. London’s FTSE 100 eased up 0.4%, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 increased 0.1%, France’s CAC 40 tacked on 0.4%, while Germany''s DAX edged 0.2% higher.

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