UK factories stockpiled goods for Brexit at an unexpectedly high rate last month, boosting manufacturing growth to a 13-month high, according to a closely watched survey.

The research, by IHS Markit/CIPS, found that the rate of increase in stocks hit a survey record high for the third month in a row.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector rose to 55.1 in March, from 52.1 in February.

A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

The PMI has remained above that benchmark for 32 months in a row.

However, Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, warned that the boost to the UK economy could prove short-lived.

He said: “Manufacturers are already reporting concerns that future trends could be constrained as inventory positions across the economy are unwound.

“The survey is

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