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1 August 2013 | Will Green
UK manufacturing activity reached a 28-month high in July.
The seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index reached 54.6 in July – against a baseline of 50, which indicates no change – compared with a revised June figure of 52.9.
Buyers reported improved domestic and export demand, with new export business rising at the fastest rate for two years, reflecting increased sales to Australia, China, the eurozone, Kenya, Mexico, the Middle East, Nigeria, Russia and the US.
Stocks of finished products fell at the fastest rate for more than three years while increased production led to higher purchasing activity.
Inflationary pressures were “relatively subdued”, and though input and selling prices rose ‘moderately’ in July, rates of inflation were “below their respective series averages”. Firms reported paying more for commodities, feedstocks, haulage, packaging, timber and utilities.
CIPS CEO David Noble said: “The much-vaunted march of the makers has finally materialised with the UK manufacturing sector’s output growth hitting a 28-month high in July.
“Exports have been critical to this success, but it is the broad-based nature of the sector’s performance which endorses the view we are on track for solid and accelerated growth in the coming months.
“The ability of British manufacturers to market themselves abroad was always seen as crucial to long-term success and so it has proved. New export business has grown at its quickest rate in two years in a sign that macro-economic conditions are improving.”