Sector Looks To Build On Export Growth In 2018
The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) recorded a slightly lower rate of growth in December, however still ended the year on a high with solid increases across new business, output and employment in the sector.
Following a record high in November, the survey results have now produced an index reading above the all-important growth figure of 50.0 for almost a year and a half.
New order growth and product development has led to an increase in production and employment for the sector, with output growing in the investment goods and intermediate sectors once again for December. There has been strong growth in new UK manufacturing exports, in particular to the USA, Europe, the Middle East and China.
Expert Opinion“December was another solid month for the sector and it was particularly pleasing to see employment levels increase. Manufacturers need to build on this into 2018 and despite the on-going political uncertainty, many will be looking for a strong start supported by continued export growth.” Laurence Gavin - Partner
David Johnson, founding director of Halo Financial, said:
“There has been a welcome easing of cost increases in December, which is a positive sign for the industry, as import costs fell to the lowest in four months. Inflationary pressures remain, however, as the cost of raw materials continues to rise; forcing suppliers to put up prices.
“The Sterling exchange rate has also contributed to rising cost pressures, although a relatively weak Pound has supported UK exports throughout 2017. We hope that the various cost pressures across the supply chain will ease further in 2018, as UK manufacturers continue to evolve and expand operations. The manufacturing sector is optimistic for the coming year, which provides some welcome positivity in times of political and economic uncertainty.”