David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply:
“We can take consolation from August’s figures in that they were ‘less bad’ than the disastrous month before. We have witnessed a return to the status quo of flat growth in a fragile economy. This is a positive in itself, as a repeat of last month’s performance would have been unthinkable. Also encouraging is the output growth in the consumer and intermediate goods sector, more so when taken alongside a marked easing in the rate of contraction at investment goods producers.
“This optimism however, is set firmly in the context of a slowing global economy. The UK manufacturing sector continues to struggle against economic headwinds, especially from Europe.
“Inevitably this picture continues to influence new export orders negatively, though the rate of this contraction eased significantly. At the same time, domestic new orders have rallied offering respite to the sector, which looks set for a long, flat recovery.”
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The UK Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) for the manufacturing sector's downward trend tails off in August.
Rising to 49.5 in August, the rates of contraction ease sharply for production, new orders and new exports. Inputnprices still falling but to a lesser degree comapred to previous month.