02 July 2007 | Antony Barton
Strong activity in UK manufacturing last month marked a robust performance in the sector for the first half of 2007.
The CIPS/NTC Purchasing Managers' Index for June, where a figure above 50 represents growth, recorded a figure of 54.3, down slightly from 54.7 in May. The PMI has now remained above 50 for 23 successive months.
Companies said higher output encouraged them to raise employment, which fell slightly from 51.5 to 51.0.
But inflationary pressures increased, with input costs rising from 64.7 to 65.7 - the fastest increase since September. Output prices dropped but remained strong, falling from 56.9 to 56.8.
New orders fell from 55.5 to a five-month low of 54.7. This slower rate centred on the domestic market, with the growth of new export orders accelerating. Companies said there was improved demand from mainland Europe, the US and Asia.
* Further coverage of PMI reports is available at http://www.supplymanagement.com/pmi