02 April 2007 | Paul Snell
Growth in the manufacturing sector in March was slower than in February, according to the latest manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI).
The March CIPS/RBS PMI, where a figure above 50 indicates growth, recorded activity in the sector at 54.4. This compares with the two-year high recorded in February of 55.4.
Output increased for the twenty-first consecutive month, recording a figure of 54.5. The growth in the number of new orders remained high but was slower than in February, recording 57.1 compared with 57.6 last month.
Input prices also increased again, recording 62.3. Manufacturers cited the rising cost of chemicals, energy prices, metals, fuel and timber as the cause.
Employment grew for the third month in a row, with a figure of 51.4 in March. The index said more staff were needed to deal with the increased production and attempts to clear outstanding business.
* Further coverage of PMI reports is available at http://www.supplymanagement.com/pmi