Increased exports have led manufacturing to its fastest growth in over 15 years, according to the latest CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI).
The PMI surveys manufacturers on a number of conditions including orders, costs and inventory and produces a single figure indicator of how the industry is currently performing.
Where any number above 50 entails growth and any number below 50 means a retraction, the PMI was registered at 58 for April, up from 57.3 in March. That constitutes the biggest month on month increase since September 1994. Analysts had forecast a reading of 57.4.
New export orders grew at the fastest rate since 1996 and this has been attributed for the overall growth.
“Today’s PMI data join a host of recent surveys showing a solid, export led expansion of manufacturing activity in the UK in April, getting the second quarter off to a good start,” said EEF chief economist Lee Hopley. “Buoyant numbers from across Europe, the UK’s largest market, provide some confidence that together with a weaker exchange rate, the recovery across the sector is looking more sustainable. However, the outcome of the election and the market reaction to it remain the big unknown on the horizon.”