The bellwether Markit/CIPS Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) moved still further away from the neutral 50.0 benchmark that signifies stagnation by continuing its eight month upward momentum, reaching a buoyant 58.4 in November, up from 56.5 in October.
The data also registered the fastest job creation since May 2011 while production and new order growth hit 19-year highs.
The upturn was broad-based, with all of the sub-sectors covered by the survey reporting increases in output and new business. The domestic market remained the prime pillar of new order growth but companies also benefited from rising levels of new export orders. Although the rate of growth in overseas demand was less marked than October’s 32-month high, it was still among the steepest registered post the global financial crisis. There were reports of improved inflows of new work from Asia, the USA, Germany, France, Ireland, Belgium and the Middle East.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compilers Markit said the rise in manufacturing employment signalled that that companies were creating around five thousand jobs per month. Manufacturing and the wider economy were both on course to build on the third quarter’s solid foundation, he added.
CIPS CEO David Noble (pictured) believed that Improved confidence and positive macro-economic conditions, both in the UK and abroad, completed a positive outlook as the year drew to a close. While conceding that “supply chains still have some catching up to do with the market” he added, “suppliers go into the New Year with more opportunities than the challenges of previous years.”
Rachel Pettigrew, Senior Economist at the manufacturers’ organisation EEF, said the data suggested sustained strong manufacturing growth in the final three months of this year. She added that “while we expect to see a slight contraction in output overall in 2013, the year ahead should see the manufacturing sector outpace growth in the wider UK economy”.
Copyright Ken Hurst 2013