Britain's PMI inched up to 55.1 in March from a downwardly revised 55.0 in February, beating the 54.7 consensus in a Reuters poll of economists.
Output and new orders both expanded in March albeit at a slower pace. Input price inflation remained marked in March, despite easing to a six-month low. Backlogs of work at euro area manufacturers also increased during March, taking the current sequence of expansion to nearly three years.
The PMI had previously touched its highest level of 52 in November 2017, from its lowest level of 46.9 on June 30, 2017.
In the unweighted model of our choice (the ISM's), respondents are asked whether output, employment, new orders, suppliers' delivery times and stocks of purchases have improved on the previous month, are unchanged or have declined.
This is the eighth consecutive month that the index remained above the 50-point-mark.
Rob Dobson, a director at IHS Markit, said the latest reading suggested overall production growth would fall by more than half in the first quarter compared with the final three months of 2017.
The data for March has shown slowing levels of manufacturing activity across the currency bloc, in some cases by more than forecast. There were also signs that capacity constraints deriving from the recent growth spurt were impacting on production growth in March.
While the USA economy ended 2017 on fairly high note, MarketWatch noted it may have gotten off to a softer start in 2018.
Shaking off concerns that heavy snowfall from the "beast from the east" would trigger a slowdown, the United Kingdom manufacturing sector maintained a steady pace of growth in March.
In Turkey, manufacturing output and new orders have increased, and so have cost burdens. The new orders index still finished with a 61.9% reading, but that was down 2.3% from February.
Despite the overall downturn, comments from the panel of purchasing executives reflected continued expanding business strength, with 17 of the 18 manufacturing industries surveyed reporting growth in March.
On this background, the spending has risen at the fastest pace since last October, driven by higher commodity prices.