Manufacturing sector sees steady growth

(2 minutes to read)

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Contractors working within the manufacturing sector will be pleased to hear that the industry maintained a steady rate of expansion during March.

The latest IHS Markit / CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) also revealed that production rose for the twentieth successive month. The rate of expansion accelerated to the sharpest in the year-so-far, despite a moderation in growth of incoming new orders.

Companies continued to report solid inflows of new work from both domestic and overseas markets, which as a result led to rising staffing levels.

Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, commented on the findings, “The latest PMI survey provided further evidence that UK manufacturing has entered a softer growth phase so far this year.

“The key question is whether growth can now be sustained, albeit at a lower level, into the coming months. On that front the news is generally positive. Manufacturers are still reporting solid inflows of new work from domestic and overseas markets.

“Business optimism is holding steady at an elevated level, with over 54% of companies expecting output to expand over the coming 12 months. With cost inflationary pressures also moderating to provide some respite for margins, the sector looks set to make further slow and steady progress as we head through the spring.”

Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, added, “After the mini-boom of productivity at the end of last year, the sector still held its own, delivering a steady if unremarkable performance with overall activity improving very modestly from last month.”

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