05 July 2004 | Kathryn Manning
UK manufacturing continued its robust performance in June, according to the latest purchasing managers' index figures.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) - a composite indicator of economic activity from CIPS and NTC Research, where 50 means no change on the previous month - was 54.8, from 55.7 in May.
Purchasing activity remained stable in the fourteenth consecutive month of growing output (57.5). Manufacturers kept up to date with order books, despite a lack of spare capacity during the past three months, shown by increased employment.
The new order index continued to indicate growth, although at a more gentle pace than in May, at 55.1. The latest rise in the volume of new business was the fifteenth in succession and the extent of the gains made in June remained strong. Firms indicated continued strength in the domestic market, while the US was again cited as a key area of export growth.
In the euro-zone, manufacturing activity expanded for the tenth successive month, according to NTC Research. The PMI for June was 54.4, with France enjoying the fastest growth, and Spain showing the weakest expansion.
Manufacturing growth in the US eased slightly in June, but remained at a strong level, said the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in its manufacturing report on business. The PMI slipped to 61.1 from 62.8 in May, still well above the 50.0 no-change mark.
The US employment index also eased though, at 59.7 in June, it pointed to strong growth of the manufacturing workforce.
More information on the UK and euro-zone PMIs is available at www.ntc-research.com. The full text of the ISM reports on the US economy for June, and previous reports, is available at www.ism.ws/ISMReport/index.cfm