4 January 2011 | Lindsay Clark
Growth in UK manufacturing hit a 16-year high in December, a
survey of buyers has found.
Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI rose to 58.3 in December
2010, up from 57.5 in November, signalling 17 consecutive months above the 50
no-change mark on the index.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit and author
of the UK Manufacturing PMI, said: “The UK manufacturing sector saw a truly spectacular
end to 2010. The PMI rose to a 16-year high and strong export growth pushed
rates of expansion in output and new orders to the highest since May. Job
creation also stayed close to November’s near survey record pace.
“The latest figures are consistent with manufacturing
production rising at a quarterly rate close to 2 per cent, which should
generate a meaningful contribution from the sector to economic growth in the
fourth quarter to offset likely weakness in other sectors. All of this points
to manufacturing being a positive spur to economic recovery in the final
However, CIPS CEO David Noble cautioned against
"Before we breathe a sigh of relief, last month was not
without its challenges,” he said. “Adverse weather conditions contributed to
longer vendor lead times, while surging demand for certain goods has depleted
stocks, leading some purchasers to try and replenish inventories. There are
also ongoing efforts to guard against rising cost inflation and possible
further winter disruption to the supply chain by buying early."