LONDON (Reuters) - Global manufacturing activity accelerated modestly in January as factories cut prices for a second month, helping drive up new orders, a survey showed on Monday.
JPMorgan's Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), produced with Markit, nudged up to 51.7 in January from December's 16-month low of 51.5.
January marked the 26th month the index has been above the 50 level that separates growth from contraction but December was the only month it has been lower since September 2013.
Tumbling input costs - they fell at the fastest rate since July 2012 - gave factories room to cut prices at the steepest rate in nearly a year.
"The January PMI featured a big drop in input costs, as the slump in oil prices drove down costs and provided some useful respite for margins across much of the global manufacturing sector," said David Hensley, a director at JPMorgan.
The PMI combines survey data from countries including the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia.
Reporting by Jonathan Cable; Editing by Hugh Lawson