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Financial News: UK Factory Growth At 2-month Low

UK Factory Growth At 2-month Low

05/01/2019 - 05:20:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - UK manufacturing expansion slowed to a two-month low in April amid a decline in export business and an easing in the robust pace of stock-building, survey data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.

The IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, fell to 53.1 in April from March's 13-month high of 55.1. The score was in line with economists' expectations.

A PMI reading above 50 suggests growth in the sector.

"Alongside weaker growth in production, new orders and stocks of purchases, the lower PMI level also reflected job losses in the sector," IHS Markit said.

Export orders decreased at the second-fastest pace in four-and-a-half years.

"The trend in new export business was especially weak, as high stock holdings at clients and slower global economic growth led to reduced demand from key markets such as the European Union, the USA and China," Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit, said.

"There were also reports of overseas clients acting now to re-route their supply chains away from the UK in advance of Brexit."

The six-month delay in Brexit led to the slowing in the pace of stock-building of inventories of both inputs and finished products.

Meanwhile, business optimism hit a seven-month high despite ongoing concerns over Brexit.

Both input and output prices rose in April, but the rates of increase were weaker than in March.

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