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UK’s manufacturing sector returns to growth

2nd Apr 24 12:40 pm

Figures from the S&P Global/CIPS UK manufacturing PMI survey shows that UK’s manufacturing sector has returned to growth and hit 50.3 in March compared to 47.5 in February.

This is the first time manufacturing has hit growth in 20 months, and any score above 50 is considered the sector is growing, however there is still “weak” export orders.

“The end of the first quarter saw UK manufacturing recover from its recent doldrums,” said Rob Dobson, director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“Production and new orders returned to growth, albeit only hesitantly, following year-long downturns, with the main thrust of the expansion coming from stronger domestic demand.”

Dobson added, “The upturn in demand also led to improved confidence among manufacturers, with positive sentiment hitting an 11-month high.

“Some 58% of companies expect their output to rise over the coming year.

“We’re also seeing signs of stabilisations in employment and purchasing activity alongside a move towards lowering safety stocks, all signs that manufacturers are tentatively optimistic about the road ahead.

“Potential blockers remain such as continued weak export performance and supply chain stresses, with the neighbouring EU market the main drag on overseas demand and the Red Sea crisis still impacting supply chains.

“Signs from the survey that the impact of both of these factors is easing is therefore welcome news.”

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