UK factory activity growth fastest since 1994

British manufacturing activity grew at its fastest pace in almost 27 years last month.

With businesses on a mission to make up for ground lost during the global health crisis.

A PMI index for manufacturing rose to over 60 in April from 58.9 in March.

Any reading above 50 signifies growth.

New orders rose at a clip too 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.

They are factors which sometimes indicate an imminent pick-up but which are currently hampering growth.

Britain's economy shrank by almost 10% last year - the biggest fall in output in more than 300 years.

And even with rapid growth this year it may take until 2022 for it to regain its pre-crisis size, a slower rebound than the United States.

Manufacturers are still dealing with the knock-on impact of the crisis too.

Including increased shipping costs and shortages of key components such as microchips used for car electronics.

British firms also face greater friction trading with their EU counterparts due to Brexit-related trade barriers which came into force at the start of the year.