Manufacturing activity reaches 23-month high

2 November 2009

2 November 2009 | Allie Anderson

Activity in the UK manufacturing industry showed significant improvement last month as growth in output and new orders regained momentum.

According to the latest CIPS/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - where a figure above 50 represents growth - total activity in the sector registered 53.7 in October.

This was a 3.8-point rise on the revised figure of 49.9 recorded the previous month and the highest level in almost two years.

The rate of production was at its strongest since November 2007, while new orders posted a 67-month high of 59.5, up from 52.7 in September.

The level of new export business rose for the third consecutive month, as reports of improved overseas market conditions emerged.

CIPS chief executive David Noble said: "It appears the manufacturing sector has turned a corner and is starting to pull itself out of recession. After this long and deep downturn, manufacturers are now reporting strong growth in both output and new orders."

However, striking a note of caution, Noble added: "Manufacturing is still fragile and will be highly vulnerable for some time to come."

The Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI crept above 50 for the first time in 17 months, climbing from 49.3 in September to reach 50.7 last month. 


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