The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) rose to 54.8 points in January, the highest score since March 2015, Markit said.
“Output rose at the fastest pace in nearly three years, while rates of expansion for new orders and exports also sharpened,” Markit said, adding the PMI survey signaled strong sentiment at the start of the year. The survey also showed that input and output prices rose strongly in January, but the pace of growth eased compared to December. “Inflationary pressures remained marked, despite easing slightly since December,” Markit said.
The PMI is based on monthly surveys of managers of private sector companies, in which the purchasing managers are asked to report positively or negatively on factors such as new export orders, production levels, inventories and employment. A rate below 50 indicates a slowdown in economic activity.