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UK manufacturing sector growing at slowest pace for 3 months

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UK manufacturing
Markit/CIPS   UK manufacturing PMI fell to 51.9

The UK manufacturing sector grew at its slowest pace for three months in December, a survey has indicated.

The Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing PMI fell to 51.9 in December, down from 52.5 in November and October's measure of 55.5.

The reading was still above average for 2015 and means the sector has expanded for almost three years.

New orders came in at the slowest pace in five months, according to the survey, while Markit's index of export orders - which had improved in the previous three months - slipped back.

Manufacturing failed to contribute to economic growth throughout the first three quarters of 2015, with the much larger services industry continuing to drive the UK's economic recovery.

John Ainsworth, Head of Corporate and Business banking for Barclays in North Wales, said: "2015 was a challenging year for the sector as manufacturers sought to remain competitive and hold profit margins. With export orders hampered by the strength of sterling and a sluggish Eurozone, only recently showing signs of improvement, domestic demand continues to be the main driver of growth.

"As we enter 2016, vital investment, differentiation of products on quality/service and a firm eye focused on costs should be top of manufacturers' New Year resolution lists."


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