JPMorgan's Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 53.2 from October's 52.1, above the 50 mark that indicates growth for the 11th month and notching up its highest reading since May 2011.
New orders came in at their fastest pace since February 2011, pushing output growth to a matching high.
"November PMI data signal a further acceleration in global manufacturing production. Near-term momentum remains positive," said David Hensley, a director at JPMorgan.
The headline index was boosted by solid growth in the United States, Japan and Britain, JPMorgan said, adding that a modest and fragile recovery continued in the euro zone.
Buoyant demand for manufactured goods drove euro zone factory activity to accelerate at its fastest pace in over two years last month but the weak growth hid a widening disparity among some of the bloc's key members, an earlier survey found.
U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at its fastest pace in 2-1/2 years last month, despite expectations for an easing in the growth rate.