03 January 2007 | Paul Snell
Manufacturing growth in December was at its slowest for nine months, the latest CIPS/RBS purchasing index has revealed.
The index, where a reading above 50 indicates expansion, recorded manufacturing growth as 51.9 last month. This is down on November's figure of 52.6 and is the lowest since March.
Input prices fell to a sixteenth month low, dropping to 58.2, compared with November's figure of 62.5. While prices remain high, companies report that the cost of goods in dollar markets have been reduced because of the currency's weak status.
The employment index dropped below 50 for the second month in a row, although the decline in staff was less than in November. The index recorded a figure of 49, compared with last month's 47.7.
It also reported that manufacturing performance in 2006 had been positive compared with 2005. But average production and new work trends were not as robust as in 2004.
Manufacturing growth in the Eurozone remained strong last month with a reading of 56.5 compared with November's 56.6.
Coverage of previous PMI reports is available at the link below.