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UK manufacturing growth slows at start of Q2

Staff Writer | May 2, 2018
The upturn in the UK manufacturing sector slowed further at the start of the second quarter.
UK manufacturing
Britain   IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI
Rates of expansion eased for output, new orders and employment, in part reflecting a weakening in the pace of expansion of new work from abroad.

On the price front, input cost and output charge inflation moderated and, although still elevated, are below the highs seen at the turn of the year.

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a 17- month low of 53.9 in April, down from 54.9 in March.

The PMI has signalled expansion in each of the past 21 months.

Manufacturing production rose for the twenty-first month in a row.

Companies reported that output was scaled up in response to higher intakes of new business, stronger client confidence, improved weather, new product launches and increased capacity.

Output rose at consumer, intermediate and investment goods producers.

The latest survey provided further evidence of a slowdown in the rate of manufacturing expansion.

Growth of output and new orders eased, while business optimism dipped to a five-month low.

Falling backlogs of work, supply-chain constraints and rising stocks of finished goods also signalled that output growth will remain subdued in the coming months.

April also saw growth of new export business slow to a ten-month low.

Rates of increase eased in the intermediate and investment goods sectors, but strengthened at consumer goods producers.

Where improved demand from overseas was reported, companies linked this to higher order intakes from Europe, the USA and Asia.