UK manufacturing
There are concerns that the UK economic recovery is too reliant on consumer spending and the housing market, but manufacturing output is surging again

Output in the UK manufacturing sector surged during April in another sign that the long-awaited rebalancing of the economic recovery is taking place.

Markit said its monthly purchasing managers index (PMI) hit 57.3 in the month, up from 55.8 in March and one of the highest readings in three years. Any figure over the neutral 50 mark signifies growth.

It follows a report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) suggesting the UK recovery is stretching across all sectors.

And Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said he is also seeing the early signs of a balanced recovery.

There are concerns that the recovery is too reliant on consumer spending and the revival in the housing market, where property prices are rising sharply.

But the latest in a string of good news for the manufacturing sector will be welcome relief for Chancellor George Osborne.

"Manufacturing continues to bask in the spring sunshine, with solid growth and mounting optimism for the months ahead," said David Noble, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), which works on the PMI report with Markit.

"Supporting the robust expansion and new order inflows, employment numbers were boosted even further this month; all of which are good signs of a sustainable upward surge in the UK economy more broadly.

"Combined with strengthening domestic demand, UK manufacturers have also been taking full advantage overseas. New export orders rose to a three month high in April, with demand strengthening across all parts of the global economy, to include North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle-East."