Expansion of the U.K. manufacturing sector slowed in May but remained in growth territory after hitting a three-year high in April, the latest IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers' index, or PMI, showed June 1.
The manufacturing PMI rose to 56.7 in May, marking improved operating conditions for the 10th consecutive month, IHS Markit said. The index, however, was slightly lower than April's 57.3.
"The ongoing strength of the domestic market remains the main driver of the upturn," said Rob Dobson, senior economist at IHS Markit.
Manufacturing production and new orders both grew at above survey-average rates in April. The strongest growth was seen in the intermediate goods sector, while consumer and investment goods moderately expanded.
New export orders increased as overseas demand improved due to the weak sterling exchange rate and new products in foreign markets.
The exchange rate, along with rising prices of raw materials, also increased input costs for manufacturers.
The index showed that 56% of manufacturers expect higher output in the next 12 months, bringing production optimism to a 20-month high.