01 November 2007 | Paul Snell
Activity in UK manufacturing suffered a loss of momentum last month, as the latest Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the sector recorded its lowest figure this year.
But the sector continued to expand recording a figure of 52.9 in October, according to the CIPS/NTC PMI, where a figure above 50 indicates growth.
The reduced growth was caused by slowdowns in production and the number of new orders. Recent turbulence in the financial markets caused the level of new orders to slow to 53.6, its lowest figure since August 2006. Expansion in new orders was mainly driven by UK business.
Employment also increased last month but at a slower rate than in September. Staff levels rose for the tenth consecutive month, reaching 51.3 in October.
Input prices also slowed in October recording 60.4, the weakest level in 2007. But prices remained high with buyers reporting higher costs for chemicals, food products, metals, plastics and timber.
* Further coverage of PMI reports is available at http://www.supplymanagement.com/pmi