Manufacturing hit by gloomy industry indicators

Posted on 1 Mar 2013

The manufacturing PMI fell to 47.9 in February with jobs falling at the fastest rate for three years.

The UK’s manufacturing PMI fell unexpectedly in February, data from Market/CIPS showed today.

Research group Markit said that the manufacturing PMI fell to 47.9, from 50.8 in the preceding month.
Analysts had expected the manufacturing PMI to rise to 51.0 last month, following signs in February that parts of the manufacturing sector were rallying.

Employment in manufacturing fell at the fastest rate for three years, according to the survey.

It comes as a blow to a sector which has ridden on a string of good news in the aerospace sector (Aerospace Growth Partnership and 500 masters courses), automotive (record production in 2012, Jaguar Land Rover flying) and in the field of apprenticeships in engineering jobs.

Mike Rigby, head of manufacturing, Barclays said “The return of fluctuation to the currency markets should see exporters benefit from more competitively priced products, however it will mean margin pressures for importers from a commodity purchase and sales price point of view.”

Lloyds Corporate Banking’s Carl Williamson said “Weak demand from the Eurozone remains a concern within the sector and further emphasises the need for manufacturers to develop new international networks and target emerging markets.

“Inflationary pressures, and the impact this has on real income and consumer spending, have dampened domestic demand for manufactured goods.

The headline manufacturing PMI is compiled of five survey indices: new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times (inverted) and stock of purchases.