July's figures from purchasing managers showed a slight slowdown in activity in manufacturing, but much less of a downturn than expected.
The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) posted a reading of 57.3, slightly down from June's 57.6. Though there was a slight reduction in export performance, the report showed healthy growth in the number of new orders.
David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply:
“Even after the booming growth seen in the first half of 2010, it’s good to see the UK Manufacturing sector holding strong as we head into the second half of the year. As expected, we’re starting to see the PMI taper from the post-recession growth peak, but this is certainly happening at a slower pace than originally anticipated, which means we can breathe again.
“While trade from Europe slowed, this was partially offset by strong demand from the US and Asia.
Despite this subdued demand for export goods, volumes of new orders were still strong, which coupled with increased production, encouraged firms of all types and sizes to raise their headcount. “Looking forward, we anticipate a measured and muted pace of growth, which, relative to the unprecedented lows hit during the downturn, is still a step in the right direction."
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