'Solid growth' for UK manufacturing in March

Posted on 12 Apr 2018 and read 501 times
'Solid growth' for UK manufacturing in MarchAt 55.1, the UK manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed ‘solid growth’ for March, up from 55.0 in February and comfortably above the 50-point mark that separates contraction from expansion.

Manufacturers in the UK are seeing a steady flow of new business, both domestically and internationally; and with new
export orders up for nearly two years in a row, export business is thriving.

Manufacturing firms are putting this success down to the weakness of sterling, improved and repeat business; and with both input and output costs having eased somewhat since February (after increasing significantly over the past year), manufacturers believe they have further cause for optimism.

Tony Piggott from foreign-exchange specialist Halo Financial, said: “More good news for the UK manufacturing industry, as growth continues and the overall trends look positive.

“Cost pressures have calmed a little, and output and exports are still on the up, although growth is at a slower pace in terms of new orders and jobs.

“However, sterling is forecast to be strong throughout April, so exporters will need to factor this in to their planning to avoid higher costs and continue to sustain business growth, particularly in their efforts to diversify and launch new products.”

Dorrien Peters, a partner and head of manufacturing at the law firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “The manufacturing sector is continuing to deliver a strong performance, buoyed in recent months by booming global trade volumes and the strong economic performance of key trading partners, including the USA and the EU.

“I expect this to continue in the short term and result in the continuation of solid output figures. However, I anticipate that the uncertainty over how our future trading relationship with the EU will be structured will increasingly concern the sector, with an inevitable effect on confidence.”

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