Latest Public Sector News

02.01.13

Manufacturing activity increased in December

UK manufacturing rose unexpectedly in December, showing the biggest increase in PMI in 15 months, new figures show.

The results could help avoid a contraction of the economy, which was forecast to shrink by 0.1% in the last three months of 2012.

Manufacturing makes up 10% of British output, and PMI scores for the construction and service sectors due on Thursday and Friday will give a stronger indication as to the future of the economy.

In December, manufacturing activity was at a PMI of 51.4, above the threshold of 50 which separates growth from contraction. The survey by Markit/CIPS showed that the output component of the PMI was at 54, although the sector still contracted overall.

Rob Dobson, the Markit economist who compiled the survey, said: “UK manufacturing exited 2012 on a positive note, with December's PMI data signalling a reassuringly solid return to growth for the sector.

“The domestic market remained the main spur for growth ... in December, although there are also signs that global trade flows are stabilising as China and the US strengthen and the downturn in the euro one eases.

“Business confidence ... remains fragile and could easily be derailed by setbacks in key export markets, notably any resurgence of the eurozone debt crisis.”

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