The UK Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) for the manufacturing sector shows that in January, input costs and output prices both increased.
UK manufacturing production continued to expand at the start of 2013, following a further increase in new orders and ongoing efforts to clear backlogs of work. The labour market also continued to stabilise following the job losses seen through much of the middle of last year.
At 50.8 in January, edging lower from December’s 15-month high of 51.2, the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Purchasing Manager’s Index® (PMI®) remained above the neutral 50.0 mark for the second month running.
David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply:
“On the surface this is good news for manufacturing and should be welcomed. However underlying factors suggest deep rooted problems remain. Until these are resolved, the sector will continue to be pulled from pillar to post.
“Economic weakness in Europe is the primary issue affecting the industry, reflected in the continued scarcity of export orders during January and the fact that many firms remain cost cautious in response to increased input prices. This situation looks set to continue in the face of the difficult macro-economic conditions.
“These more negative factors have been offset however, by the strength of domestic orders, particularly in consumer goods, which alongside intermediate goods are driving expansion in manufacturing activity. This steady flow of new orders has enabled manufacturers to work through backlogs bolstering expansion.”
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