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UK manufacturing growth slows at start of 2018

Staff Writer | February 2, 2018
The start of 2018 saw a further easing in the rate of expansion of the UK manufacturing sector.
UK manufacturing
Britain   IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI
At 55.3 in January, the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI ) was down further from November’s 51-month high and at its lowest level since June last year.

That said, the PMI remained well above its long-run average of 51.7.

The latest survey was conducted from 12-26 January.

Manufacturing output continued to rise at a solid pace, although the rate of expansion eased to a six-month low.

Higher production reflected rising new order intakes, albeit the slowest in seven months, which increased through robust demand from both domestic and export clients.

Sector data signalled solid increases in output and new orders across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors.

Rates of expansion were higher in the latter compared to those at consumer and intermediate goods producers.

January saw the trend in new export order inflows strengthen.

Foreign demand improved at one of the quickest rates over the past four years.

There were reports of increased sales to clients in North America, China, mainland Europe, the Middle East and Japan.

One consequence of the upturn was an upsurge in price pressures.

On the cost side, increased demand for inputs led to improved supplier pricing power and shortages of raw materials, resulting in a marked acceleration in input cost inflation.