Executive Briefings

U.K. Manufacturing Growth Slows

Growth in U.K. manufacturing slowed in November as the weak exchange rate continued to drive up input costs. In response firms raised factory gate prices, raising fears this might offset any positive effect of a weaker pound on exports.

The Markit/CIPS U.K. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index eased to 53.4 in November, down on 54.2 in October and against the neutral reading of 50, which signals neither growth nor contraction.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at IHS Markit, said: “Higher costs are being felt at the factory gate, with selling prices rising to one of the greatest extents in the past five-and-a-half years.

“The concern is that higher costs may in time offset any positive effect of the weaker exchange rate, especially given that export order book growth has already waned markedly from September’s five-and-a-half year high.”

Companies said domestic and export demand were positive growth spurs in November, along with product launches, sales initiatives and clearing backlogs of work. In terms of exports, firms reported improved demand from the U.S., mainland Europe and the Middle East.

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The Markit/CIPS U.K. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index eased to 53.4 in November, down on 54.2 in October and against the neutral reading of 50, which signals neither growth nor contraction.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at IHS Markit, said: “Higher costs are being felt at the factory gate, with selling prices rising to one of the greatest extents in the past five-and-a-half years.

“The concern is that higher costs may in time offset any positive effect of the weaker exchange rate, especially given that export order book growth has already waned markedly from September’s five-and-a-half year high.”

Companies said domestic and export demand were positive growth spurs in November, along with product launches, sales initiatives and clearing backlogs of work. In terms of exports, firms reported improved demand from the U.S., mainland Europe and the Middle East.

Read Full Article