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LONDON: British manufacturing activity grew at the fastest pace in almost 27 years last month, amid supply chain delays and shortages of raw materials, as businesses tried to make up for ground lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

The IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing activity rose to 60.9 in April from 58.9 in March, slightly above an earlier flash estimate of 60.7 and its highest reading since July 1994.

New orders rose at the fastest pace since November 2013, and two-thirds of businesses expect production to be higher in a year’s time.

But the index was also lifted by lengthening delivery times and rising costs of raw materials — factors which sometimes indicate an imminent pickup but which are currently hampering growth.

“The sector remained beset by supply chain delays and input shortages … which contributed to increased purchasing costs and record selling price inflation,” IHS Markit said.

Price pressures are on the radar…

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