The manufacturing industry is so far sustaining its rate of growth in 2010, the Purchasing Managers’ Index suggests.
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing Supply (CIPS) which conducts the monthly research said the headline PMI in February was 56.6 – the same as January and the highest since October 1994. Any reading above 50 denotes growth.
The low value of sterling – which fell even lower yesterday with the growing possibility of a hung parliament – helped growth in new export orders to its highest since January 1996.
Both raw materials and factory gate prices rose at their highest level in a year and employment improved slightly, as it did in January.
“We’re really seeing signs that seem to point towards a full sector recovery,” said CIPS chief executive David Noble. “Most notably, companies reported that higher demand from export markets wasn’t just on the back of the softer sterling but also improving global market conditions.”
CIPS produces the PMI data in association with market research firm Markit.