UK manufacturing growth hits 13-month low in March – PMI

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FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a junkyard in East London Jan 25, 2013. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

LONDON (Reuters) – UK manufacturing grew at its weakest pace in 13 months in March and price pressures, which had previously shown some signs of moderation, worsened, a survey on Friday found.

The S&P Global/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 55.2 from 58.0 in February – revised downward from a preliminary “flash” reading of 55.5.

The survey’s new order poll plunged to its lowest level since January 2021, impacted by slowing domestic demand and the sixth decline in seven months for export orders.

Survey compiler S&P Global linked export order weakness to geopolitical tensions, Brexit and ongoing supply chain problems, although the delays were the shortest since October 2020.

Overall, the survey pointed to more difficult times for the UK economy, with growth expected to slow amid a rise in global inflationary pressures fueled by the turmoil in commodity markets following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

β€œAt the end of the first quarter, there was a marked slowdown in the UK manufacturing sector,” said S&P Global.

The survey’s input cost and output price indicators rose in March after falling from record highs in the preceding months, pointing to continued inflationary pressures.

Consumer price inflation hit a 30-year high of 6.2% in February and the government’s fiscal watchdog last week predicted it would reach close to 9% by the end of 2022, contributing to the biggest drop in living standards since at least the the fifties.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Edited by John Stonestreet

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