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Financial News: UK Manufacturing Activity Expands Further Despite Inflatio

UK Manufacturing Activity Expands Further Despite Inflationary Pressures

07/01/2024 - 07:52:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The UK manufacturing sector continued to expand in June as output and new orders rose for the second straight month despite a renewed rise in cost inflation, final survey data released by S&P Global revealed on Monday.

The manufacturing purchasing managers' index dropped slightly to 50.9 in June from 51.2 in May. However, a reading above 50 indicates expansion. The flash reading was 51.4.

Production volume showed a further upturn in June, in response to rising new order inflows and on-going efforts to clear backlogs of work. The output growth was more evident across the consumer, intermediate, and investment goods categories.

New orders also marked strong growth in June, linked to improved demand, greater levels of market activity, product promotions, and an end to destocking at some clients. Demand for new work mainly came from consumer and investment goods producers.

Meanwhile, foreign demand was weak as the new export orders declined for the twenty-ninth month in a row amid lower intakes from clients in North America, China, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, the Middle East, and Poland. Shipping delays and rising freight costs were also reasons behind the fall as part of the Red Sea crisis.

British manufacturers expressed a positive outlook in June, indicating expectations for a market recovery, planned growth strategies, new product launches, and promotional activities. Nevertheless, some firms noted feeling uncertain due to the forthcoming general election, while others expected this to reduce following its conclusion.

On the price front, input costs grew at the quickest pace since January last year, driven by higher charges for energy, food, metals, packaging, paper, plastics, and timber. As a result, the decline in selling prices extended to eight straight months.

"This renewed upward lurch in manufacturing prices will likely add to concerns over the potential stubbornness of underlying inflationary pressures among hawkish rate setters at the Bank of England," Rob Dobson, director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said.

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