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UK factory growth hits seven-month low in January

1st Feb 18 11:28 am

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British manufacturing growth slowed during the first month of 2018, a survey showed today.

The IHS Markit manufacturing PMI fell to 55.3 — its lowest since June 2017— from December’s reading of 56.2.

IHS Markit reported that demand for inputs led to improved supplier pricing power and shortages of raw materials in January, resulting in “a marked acceleration in input cost inflation”.

Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, said: “The UK manufacturing sector reported an unwelcome combination of slower growth and rising prices at the start of 2018.

“Output growth has slowed sharply since last November’s high, and the more forward-looking new orders index has slipped to a seven-month low,” he added, although the latest figures are still consistent with a 0.6 per cent expansion in output in January.

According to Reuters, oil prices rose to their highest in more than three years last month, and today’s data shows manufacturers reported their third-biggest monthly increase in costs since the survey started in 1992. Oil, chemicals, foodstuffs, metals and plastics all became dearer, and factories passed some of the extra cost on to customers.



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