London: Global manufacturing activity increased at its fastest pace in over two years last month on a surge in new orders that led factories to take on more staff, a report showed on Monday.

JPMorgan’s Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 52.1 from September’s 51.8, above the 50 mark that indicates growth for the 11th month and notching up its highest reading since May 2011.

New orders matched a 30-month high hit in August and firms took on staff at the fastest pace since May last year.

The PMI output, and new orders-to-inventory ratios point to 4% annualised growth in global manufacturing output, JPMorgan said.

“Growth should be maintained heading to year-end as domestic markets are gaining strength in a number of key industrial nations, while the trend in global trade remains supportive," said David Hensley, a director at JPMorgan.

The euro zone economic recovery that began in Germany has spread to some smaller members but shrinking French manufacturing is hampering a more robust rebound, earlier PMIs showed.

Business surveys on Friday found the US factory output grew at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years and Asian manufacturers reported the fastest upturn in months, led by China. Reuters