According to a survey released on Tuesday, British manufacturing grew somewhat faster than expected in December, and pandemic-related supply chain issues eased a little, taking some of the sting out of rising input prices.
The final reading of the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI for December came in at 57.9, up from 57.6 in November's preliminary estimate and not far off the three-month high of 58.1 in November.
The rebound was still weaker than it was in mid-2021, according to Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, due to persistent supply chain bottlenecks and weak exports, which were hampered by Brexit-related issues and the prospect of further COVID restrictions.
The survey showed that job growth slowed, but new orders and output increased at a quicker rate than in November.
Despite the easing of strong inflationary pressures, with input prices rising at their weakest rate in three months, prices charged by factories increased at their quickest rate on record.
The impact of the pandemic on global supply chains, as well as the impact of the Omicron variant on the country's hospitality and leisure sectors, has hindered Britain's economic recovery from its 2020 coronavirus slump.