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Latest PMI Figures Highlight Growth for Region's Manufacturers

The UK manufacturing sector remained relatively flat for June, according to the latest seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI). The monthly PMI was slightly higher than May’s downwardly revised reading of 54.3 (originally 54.4) and stands almost four points below the 51-month high reached in November last year.

The PMI saw constant growth in the final months of 2017, but growth has been subdued in the first two quarters of 2018. Output growth moderated, to largely offset a mild acceleration in new order growth and improved job creation. At 54.4 in June, output and new orders rose across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods industries. However, the overall rate of expansion in manufacturing output slowed, as growth of new order inflows improved only mildly.

Positively, the rate of new business rose to a three-month high, but remained among the weakest registered over the past year and-a-half. Rates of growth in new work received generally steadied domestically and for exporters. The June 2018 PMI also saw a spike in recent sales to mainland Europe, China, South America and Australia.

Commenting on the manufacturing PMI statistics for June, Neil Lloyd, Sales Director at FBC Manby Bowdler, commented: “This month’s PMI result can be viewed two ways. Some will say the sector isn’t growing as fast as it was in the previous year and that should be a worry, whilst others will point out that at 54.4 the index is still showing growth. New orders are rising, just not as fast as they have been. Job creation is on the up, just not as strongly as in previous months and finally exports are still growing, and that’s reflected in some of our own client base who are exploring exporting for the first time. 

"In my view, UK Manufacturing is still going strong, yes, as we get closer to the Brexit deadline it will become a bit more cautious, especially if the levels of uncertainty remain, but I’m confident the positivity will continue.”

For more information on our Making The Future campaign, delivered in partnership with FBC Manby Bowdler, please visit www.blackcountrychamber.co.uk/manufacturing.

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