Monday 2 April 2012

UK manufacturing growth at 10-month high in March

The UK manufacturing industry grew at its fastest rate for 10 months in March 2012. This is very encouraging news considering the current economic conditions.

The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for manufacturing rose to 52.1 last month from 51.5 in February. The key to this data is that a reading above 50 implies growth within the industry.

The data is very encouraging sign that the UK economy grew in the first three months of 2012 and avoided a recession.

But while there was a pick-up in new orders within March general output was increased by clearing backlogs of existing work.

Markit Economics an independent, global provider of some of the world’s most influential business surveys said that conditions in the sector remained tough, with firms facing high oil and metal prices. Combine this with challenging conditions in the Eurozone export producers are having to develop markets further afield.

"UK manufacturing has made a brighter than expected start to 2012, with PMI data pointing to output growth of around 0.3% in the first quarter," Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said.

Promising news came in the form of data showing that new orders rose at their quickest pace for a year in March. Another encouraging indicator of growth is that the PMI for February was also revised upwards to 51.5 from a previously-stated 51.2.