Indicating that the pace of decline in the UK's manufacturing sector eased in April, the CIPS/NTC purchasing managers' index, or PMI, climbed to 49.2 from a revised 39.5 in March, reports said Friday, citing data from the Markit Economics. Meanwhile, economists had expected a reading of 40.

A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while below 50 suggests contraction.

The pace of decline in activity in April was the slowest in 8 months, while the reading was the highest since August 2008.

The new orders index rose to 46.3 in from a revised 39.4 in March, the biggest increase since 1996.

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