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UK manufacturing growth eases in November, costs increased

Staff Writer | December 2, 2016
Growth in the UK manufacturing sector unexpectedly eased November as the weak pound continued to drive up price pressures at manufacturers.
UK manufacturing
Britain   The Markit/CIPS manufacturing index
The Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 53.4 in November from 54.2 the month before and a 27-month high of 55.4 in September, missing expectations for a reading of 54.5.

Markit said the weak sterling exchange rate continued to be felt by manufacturers, but on the plus side, the boost to export competitiveness led to a further increase in new business from abroad, with companies reporting improved demand from the US, mainland Europe and the Middle East.

The weak pound was felt on the cost side, as average purchase prices rose at a pace close to October's near six-year record and again at one of the fastest rates in the survey history, with 84% of manufacturers making reference to the exchange rate as a reason for the increase in costs.

New orders growth slowed to a four-month low but was still above average levels, while export orders also slowed to a four-month low but were still relatively elevated.