There have been more signs that the economic recovery in Europe is gathered pace.
As production was cranked up last month, manufacturing activity in the euro zone grew at its fastest pace in over three years according to a survey of purchasing managers.
A jump in output and new orders in the region’s biggest economy meant German manufacturing activity hit a level not seen in almost 10 years.
France, the second biggest euro zone economy, saw factory activity expand at its best pace since November 2006.
Spain also seems to be catching up as purchasing managers there reported manufacturing in March grew for the first time since November 2007.
However economists said demand remains fragile and there was no sign of a return to growth in employment.
And British manufacturing activity grew last month at its fastest rate since October 1994.
Exports continued to benefit from sterling’s weakness versus other major currencies.
But 15 percent of firms reported job cuts and inflation remains a potential problem with companies saying they plan to raise prices.