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February was a slow month for UK manufacturing sector, but rise in oversea activity

PMI indicates expansion and positive output forecasts

The Purchasing Mangers’ Index (PMI) for the UK’s manufacturing industry indicated that February was a slow month, with production growing at its slowest pace for 11 months.

The consumer, intermediate, and investment goods sectors all saw decelerations, the PMI data shows.

However, new orders accelerated at a faster pace then recorded in the first month of 2018.

Domestic demand rates strengthened whilst new export business rose at a slower, but still stable, rate, making February the 22nd consecutive month for growth in the business.

The growth is anticipated to be linked to client sales in the US, China, Europe, Brazil, and East Asia.

Expansion rates in the industry dropped to a four-month low, but outlook and confidence remained high – 56% of firms predict output will improve this time next year.

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The PMI suggested employment also increased for the 19th consecutive month, following expansion and output forecasts.

“Production in the sector may be lagging compared to the closing months of last year, but UK manufacturing output remains in positive territory with demand still strong,” The Manufacturer reported Head of Manufacturing at Barclays, Mike Riby, stating.

“That said, although the sector remains positive, the continuing uncertainty over Brexit negotiations can’t be helping the investment intentions of manufacturers who are looking for some degree of clarity over the future relationship with the EU sooner rather than later.”

“Manufacturers will also need to remain flexible in their planning as they negotiate the uncertain market conditions in 2018.”

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