United Kingdom manufacturing activity softens in early 2018

04 April, 2018, 01:13 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • The new business sub-index that tracks overall demand also returned to growth in March rising to 50.6 from 48.0 in a reflection of increased levels of new work

The UK manufacturing sector has grown steadily during March, according to the latest figures. Input price inflation remained marked in March, despite easing to a six-month low.

In March, Canada's PMI came in at 55.7, up nominally from February's 55.6. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 17 reported growth in March. The news that the reading was better than expected helped push the Pound higher. The Production Index registered 61%, a 1 percentage point decrease compared to the month before.

She also said the New Export Orders Index registered at a 15-month low, highlighting falling demand for Malaysian goods from worldwide markets.

Commenting on the Indian Manufacturing PMI survey data, Aashna Dodhia, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the report said, "India's manufacturing sector continued to grow, albeit at the weakest pace since October, reflecting weaker gains in new business and a decline in employment for the first time in eight months".

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However, Tan said after the poor performance indicated by the latest PMI data coupled with uncertainties concerning over the potential global trade war gives an indication that the growth in the manufacturing sector may moderate in the 2H18.

Looking at the monthly Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for key sourcing countries, the USA has hit on a high growth period, though looming cost increases that could come from newly levied tariffs could curb that growth in the coming months.

Chinese manufacturing companies signalled only a marginal improvement in overall operating conditions at the end of the first quarter.

Like the ISM gauge, the one from IHS Markit indicates manufacturing is expanding when it is above a level of 50, although it's not expressed as a percentage.

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"March saw the biggest fall in the manufacturing PMI since June 2011 and the third successive slowing in the pace of expansion".

This is consecutively for the eighth months that the PMI remained above the mark of 50-point. "Companies cited rising demand at home and overseas plus recent government policy announcements as helping shore up confidence in terms of their future production levels". "Increased costs were often passed on to customers, meaning prices charged for goods at the factory gate showed the steepest rise in over four years", he said.

Lee expects the manufacturing sector to continue growing but at a slower pace in the second half of 2018 (2H18) partly due to the potential trade war between the U.S. and China which could impact Malaysia's manufacturing sector, especially for export-oriented players.

The PMI for March was 51, down from 51.6 in February. "Export orders remained strong, supported by a weaker US currency". And even while exports and imports are growing, prices are still increasing at a faster rate.

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