Britain's manufacturing sector maintained its strong growth into 2014, posing an improved domestic demand and solid output growth supported by rising export orders in January, said a survey report on Monday. The report, jointly issued by Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), showed the Purchasing Manager's Index (PMI) for the British manufacturing sector was at 56.7 in January of this year. The figure is at its lowest level in three months, but still showed a robust improvement in overall operating conditions for the manufacturing sector. A reading of 50 points or greater indicates expansion, while below 50 indicates contraction. The report said the PMI index has signalled an improvement in operating conditions in each of the past ten months. "The strong upturn in manufacturing production was maintained in January, as companies scaled up output in response to stronger inflows of new orders," it said. According to the report, the latest expansion in new export orders was broad-based by source, with British manufacturers mentioning improved demand from North America, mainland Europe, Asia, Brazil, Scandinavia and the Middle-East. Moreover, the ongoing improvement in global market conditions drove the rate of increase in new export business to a near three-year record. The survey report said that January saw employment increase for the ninth successive month, with the rate of jobs growth remaining close to November's two-and-a-half year high. "UK manufacturing made a strong start to the new year, continuing the robust upsurge in production seen at the tail end of 2013," said Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit. "Although the pace of output expansion has cooled slightly in recent months, growth is still tracking at one of the highest rates in the 22-year survey history." "The broad base of the upturn is remarkable, with its benefits being felt across all product categories and at SMEs and large-scale producers alike," he said.