Manufacturing positive for 2018
January’s IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI® figures have been released. At 55.3, January’s figures have slowed from December’s growth of 56.2 and are even further down on November’s 51-month high.
The latest figures show the lowest rate since June last year, however, the figures are still in the growth spectrum (over 50.0).
Manufacturing output has continued to rise at a solid pace, with higher production reflecting rises in new order intakes and robust demand from both domestic and export clients. While there are further solid increases in output and new orders across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors.
The growing trend in export continued throughout January, with foreign demand improving at one of the quickest rates over the past four years; including increases to North America, China, mainland Europe, the Middle East and Japan.
Many respondents have pointed to intensifying price pressures. An increased demand for inputs led to improved supplier pricing power and shortages of raw materials, resulting in a marked acceleration in input cost inflation. Purchase prices rose at the fastest rate in 11 months and to one of the greatest extents in the survey history.
The latest survey reports an optimistic outlook is being taken by UK manufacturers, with over 55% forecasting production to be higher in one year’s time. Optimism reflected improved market conditions, global economic expansion, fuller order books, export opportunities, investment in new equipment and planned product launches.
Peter Vinden, Managing Director of The Vinden Partnership, said: “The continued growth in the manufacturing sector is a positive sign for UK economy. With a small dip from December, the figures are still in growth and well above the low point five years ago.
“Global demand and job creation is strong, and this can only be positive for the UK as a whole, even with the inflation of some materials’ cost.
“It’s great to start the year on such an optimistic note, and one which the sector can see continuing throughout 2018.”