The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index for the UK manufacturing sector reflected the rise in cost pressures in February.
The figure pointed to a slight drop to 51.2 from January's 52.0 and the input costs registered the first rise in four months. New orders remained largely unchanged.
Commenting on the report, CIPS CEO, David Noble said:
“The manufacturing sector consolidated on January’s sharp increase in growth, but the return of rising oil prices and lacklustre demand is a cause of some trepidation. Whilst the tentative boost in employment is a sign of increased confidence in the sector, this can be attributed to efforts to fulfil the growth in new orders seen at the beginning of the year.
“Manufacturers have persisted in working through backlogs of work, but the Eurozone crisis continues to loom large with continued declines in new work from the Continent.
“As a result of continued growth in orders in Asia and the US, the focus for many manufacturers will be on developing as exporters to new markets. This will be critical if sustained growth is to be realised. No doubt the sector will be looking for suitable measures to boost confidence in the Chancellor’s forthcoming Budget Statement.”
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