The UK manufacturing Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) posted 52.1 in May, falling from an already low April reading of 54.4. Production and new orders fell slightly for first time since mid-2009 and the consumer goods sector and smaller-scale manufacturers were hit hardest, companies suggested that the bank holidays’ may have played a role in this.
David Noble, CEO of CIPS said, “The Royal Wedding and extra bank holidays definitely weren't a bonus for UK manufacturers, with output falling and new orders contracting for the first time in two years.
"Concerns that the extra days off would hurt small businesses appear to have been vindicated but other factors such as weakening demand from the domestic market as a whole, disruption to manufacturing supply chains following the Japanese earthquake, and reported shortages of raw materials had a noticeable negative impact.
"The picture may not be as disheartening for the coming months, as many of these drags are temporary. With the level of export orders still rising and the rate of inflation easing somewhat, we expect that May will come to be seen as an anomaly. However, the underlying trend is likely to remain one of slower growth compared to the start of the year."
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