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Manufacturing output rises

Britain's manufacturing sector grew at its best pace for three years in the 12 months to February, boosting hopes for a broad-based economic recovery.

The sector expanded by 3.8% compared with the same month last year, the sixth month in a row of year-on-year growth and the fastest since February 2011.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which were better than expected, showed month-on-month growth of 1%, the third consecutive positive reading and the best since September.

They suggest manufacturing looks increasingly likely to contribute to another quarterly rise in the UK's gross domestic product (GDP) for the start of the year.

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