October revival for UK manufacturing

The UK manufacturing sector has recorded its best month of output growth since June 2014, according to the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers Index. The 3.7 point gain in the PMI level was one of the steepest registered during the near 24-year survey history.

October saw solid improvements in the rates of growth in output and new orders, in both cases the sharpest since the middle of last year. The domestic market remained the prime source of new contract wins, while back-to-back increases in new export business were signalled for the first time since the third quarter of 2014. Companies also saw improved intakes of new work from clients in the Middle East, East Asia and the USA.

David Noble, Group Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “The sector rode on the crest of an exports market wave taking full advantage of the opportunity to create a surge of output growth and new orders. “Though domestically orders were still strong, it was export orders primarily from the Middle East, East Asia and the USA, that supported this expansion of work. Larger corporates were the overall winners more able to meet the demands of the overseas markets and employing more staff, as SMEs lagged behind with little change. With global raw material prices on a continuing downward path, purchasers increased their levels of stocks at a rate not seen for almost five years. So, if other sectors follow suit, there will be more conviction that UK economic recovery is at last ongoing and sustainable.”

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