03 September 2007 | Paul Snell
Activity in the UK manufacturing sector reached its highest level for 37 months in August.
According to the latest CIPS/NTC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), where a figure above 50 represents growth, activity in the sector was 56.3. This is compared with 55.9 in July. The figure also represents the twenty-fifth consecutive month the sector has been expanding.
New orders also remained above 50, recording 57.4 last month, although this was slightly slower than July's 58.2. This growth was primarily driven by an increase in domestic orders. Orders from abroad also increased at their fastest rate since January 2004, reaching 55.8 in August.
Staff levels were up slightly compared with July, recording 52.5 in August, the highest reading in 39 months. Buyers also reported rising employment in sales and marketing.
Input prices fell to a four-month low of 64.1 last month. Firms reported increased prices for metals, polymers, timber, packaging and food products.
Further coverage of PMI reports is available at http://www.supplymanagement.com/pmi