Manufacturing activity soars

4 January 2010
4 January 2010 | Jake Kanter

Activity in the UK manufacturing industry has bolted to the highest point in over two years.

According to the latest CIPS/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – where a figure above 50 represents growth – total activity in the sector registered 54.1 in December. It marked a 25-month high and was well up from 51.8 posted in November.

The increase was led by significant gains in production activity and new orders. The latter climbed from 53.3 in November to reach 57.4 last month, with consumer goods producers experiencing higher levels of work.

There was also improvement in employment levels. Staff numbers continued to decline, but at the slowest rate since May 2008.

CIPS chief executive David Noble said: “Despite operating against one of the toughest economic backdrops ever witnessed, 2009 saw the UK manufacturing sector slowly regain its footing and end the year in comparatively strong shape.”

Elsewhere, the Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI reached a 21-month high of 51.6 last month, up from 51.2 in November. Output rose for the fifth month in a row as Germany and France continued to lead the upturn.

Further coverage of PMI reports is available here.
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