Manufacturing PMI at near-record high in April but sector still beset by supply-chain disruptions
April saw a further acceleration in the rate of expansion of the UK manufacturing sector. Growth of output and new orders were both among the best seen over the past seven years, leading to a solid increase in employment. The sector remained beset by supply-chain delays and input shortages, however, which contributed to increased purchasing costs and record selling price inflation.
The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) rose to 60.9 in April, up from 58.9 in March and above the earlier flash estimate of 60.7. The latest reading is the highest since July 1994’s record high (61.0).
Manufacturing production increased for the eleventh successive month in April. Output growth was attributed to a loosening of lockdown restrictions, improved demand and rising backlogs of work.
Underpinning the latest robust expansion of production was a similarly marked improvement in intakes of new business. Total new orders rose for the third straight month, largely due to a further revival of domestic market conditions. Stronger client confidence, the re-opening of parts of the economy and improving global market conditions all contributed to sales growth.
Although new export business also rose in April, the growth rate was weak in comparison to that registered for total new orders. Companies reported improved new work intakes from several trading partners, including mainland Europe, the US, China and South-East Asia. Large-sized manufacturers saw a UK Manufacturing PMI at 60.9 in April (321-month high) Production and new order growth strengthen Output prices rise at record pace Data were collected 12-26 April 2021. substantial expansion in new export order intakes, compared to only a marginal rise at small-sized firms.
Read the full article by IHS Markit / CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI® – here