01 December 2006 | Paul Snell
The growth of manufacturing slowed again in November, according to the latest CIPS/RBS purchasing managers' index.
A reading above 50 indicates growth and in November the index recorded manufacturing activity as 52.6, down on October's figure of 53.5. The figure is the lowest rate of expansion since March and less than this year's 53.2 average. A higher uptake of new orders meant output increased again in November but a shortage of raw materials and delays from suppliers left the figure at 53.9, less than October's figure of 54.9.
Contracts from Germany, the US, India and Ireland boosted new export orders in November, although the figure of 52.8 was lower than the 53.8 recorded for October. The index also recorded a decline in employment, which fell below 50 for the first time since March. November's 47.6 figure was attributed to rationalisation, efficiency programmes and redundancies.
There were further problems with supplier delivery times, lengthening for the fifty-seventh consecutive month. The figure now stands at 43.2.
Manufacturing in the Eurozone increased in November but, like UK, at a slower rate. The index recorded a November figure of 56.6 compared with 57 in October.
However, manufacturing activity in the US fell to its lowest level in 42 months, registering only 49.5. According to the latest ISM Report On Business, this is the first time since April 2003 the figure has fallen below the 50 benchmark.
Coverage of previous PMI reports is available at the link below.