The Nikkei/Markit Purchasing Managers Index unexpectedly rose to 51.2 in August from July's contraction of 47.9, marking the biggest monthly jump in more than five years, according to a Reuters report.
The strongest euro exchange rate in two and a half years did little to dent demand for French-made goods as the flow of new orders and backlogs of work grew, the survey showed. A reading above 50 indicates economic expansion, while one below 50 points toward contraction.
The PMI reading, given between 0-100, measures activity in the sector - anything above 50 signals growth, while anything below means contraction.
Growth in Greek manufacturing activity accelerated in August for the third consecutive month as rising demand at home and overseas led firms to add jobs and increase production, a survey showed Friday.
While initial estimates for today's payroll figures suggest that the number of jobs added by the private sector will have fallen in August, a sharp uptick in ADP employment figures earlier in the week has led to some speculation that payrolls numbers may have also risen last month.
Markit said the breadth of expansion made it look more likely that United Kingdom manufacturing would continue to grow over the second half of the year. However, the rate of increase remained well below the record high seen at the start of the year. However, nearly 31% of companies said they experienced an increase in the price of materials required for their operations, generally linked to the rising cost of commodities.
Input prices had risen at the fastest pace since March because of supplier shortages and transportation problems, the release said.
United Kingdom manufacturing activity surprised to the upside in August as business confidence picked up.
August's manufacturing PMI came in at 56.9, far in excess of the economist consensus for a reading of 55.0, and up sharply from the July reading of 55.1.
De Lima said, "All sub-sectors posted substantial recoveries, with capital goods outperforming its consumer and intermediate goods counterparts regarding growth rates for production".