Faster growth in April for UK manufacturers

3 May 2004
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04 May 2004 | Gareth Mytton

The growth in UK manufacturing activity accelerated in April, according to the latest PMI figures.

The growth in UK manufacturing activity accelerated in April, according to the latest PMI 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 - rose to 55.1, from 53.7 in March.

Output was up in the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors, to take the output index to 57.2. New orders (up to 55.9) were particularly strong in the first two, as customers built up contingency stocks. Exports were largely unchanged on March, but manufacturers said demand was strong in the US and mainland Europe.

Supply shortages and rising input prices (down to 62.6) forced purchasers to increase quantities of purchases (up to 57.6), although stocks fell slightly as demand ate into reserves.

The eighth successive month of expansion in the euro-zone was driven by faster growth in output, according to NTC Research. Its PMI for April was 54, with Greece enjoying the biggest jump in output.

Manufacturing activity in the US rose for the eleventh successive month in April, said the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) in its Manufacturing Report on Business. The PMI fell marginally by 0.1 to 62.4 but, as they did in March, all 20 sectors of the manufacturing economy said activity was higher on the month.

A persistent concern for US purchasers is the availability of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

* More information on the UK and euro-zone PMIs is available at The full text of the ISM reports on the US economy for April, and previous reports, is available at


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