The October release of survey data from the Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI shows a return to growth for UK manufacturing production in September with a PMI of 51.1 - this is above the neutral 50.0 mark for the first time in three months - but new export orders have fallen sharply.
Companies linked this rise to a modest improvement in domestic market conditions. In contrast, levels of new export business contracted at the quickest pace since May 2009. There were reports of lower demand from the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit and author of the Markit/CIPS Manufacturing PMI said, “The modest return to growth of UK manufacturing output in September is a positive, but it is hard to escape the fact that the sector’s performance has weakened substantially since the opening quarter’s growth surge. A slight increase in new orders was also welcome news, but it looks as if the latest expansion in output was largely achieved through the fastest depletion of backlogs of work for two years. This is only a temporary solution and the replenishment rate of order books will need to improve if manufacturing is to recover its forward momentum.”
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