Saturday, 20 October, 2018

The UK Manufacturing PMI Falls To 17-month Low

Pound sterling strength Pound sterling strength
Lindsey Cook | 03 May, 2018, 16:02

A third successive monthly fall in the headline PMI represents a clear turning point in growth since the start of the year and can not simply be attributed to first quarter's weather-related disruptions, Paul Smith, director at IHS Markit, said.

"Although still signalling a solid rate of expansion, the upturn has lost noticeable momentum since the PMI hit a record high in December 2017", the report stressed.

In April 2018 operating conditions in Indonesia's manufacturing sector strengthened at the strongest pace since June 2016, reflected by the strongest growth of output and new orders in Indonesia since July 2014 and June 2016, respectively. Survey respondents widely commented on the resumption of housebuilding activity following snow disruptions in March. Delayed payments from clients partly led to the latest increase in backlogs, according to anecdotal evidence. It is forecast stand pat on policy until the second half of next year. "However, the picture was less positive in other areas of construction, with commercial building and civil engineering work rising only marginally".

The Eurozone's new export orders also stood at its 17-month low, which linked to the recent strengthening of the euro exchange rate, especially against the United States dollar, the report highlighted.

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"Panellists noted that increased competition and rising labour shortages may impact output potential over the coming 12 months". Economists polled by Reuters had been expecting a growth of £1.45bn.

The IHS Markit reading showed some change in the employment data from the strength seen in prior months elsewhere. However, economic uncertainty and Brexit-related indecision continue to lurk beneath the surface as obstacles to the construction sector's stability.

While the headline index improved over the month, IHS Markit said the details of the report were less impressive.

"The effects of the previous month's bad weather were echoed in April as supply chains stayed under the cosh again". However, companies expressed difficulties in sourcing inputs as supplier delivery times lengthened to the greatest degree since February 2014. Transportation times were still lengthy for construction materials for projects already in the pipeline. There is also a continued price pressure as the prices are called increasing at faster rate when both exports and imports are growing.

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