UK manufacturing saw further growth of production, orders at end 2021

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The UK manufacturing sector saw further growth of production, new orders and employment at the end of 2021, according to IHS Markit. Though a slight easing in supply chain delays helped lift output volumes and take some of the heat out of input price rise, logistic disruptions and staff shortages nonetheless still stymied the overall expansion pace, it said.

The seasonally-adjusted IHS Markit-Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) purchasing managers’ index (PMI) in the United Kingdom rose to 57.9 in December, little changed from November’s three-month high of 58.1.

The PMI has remained above the neutral 50 mark for 19 months. Output rose across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors during December, with the overall pace of expansion improving to a four-month high, IHS Markit said in a press release.

The UK manufacturing sector saw further growth of production, new orders and employment at the end of 2021, according to IHS Markit. Though a slight easing in supply chain delays helped lift output volumes and take some of the heat out of input price rise, logistic disruptions and staff shortages nonetheless still stymied the overall expansion pace, it said.

Increased output was underpinned by rising intakes of new business, as domestic market conditions continued to strengthen. The trend in new export business remained negative, however, as inflows of new work from overseas dropped for the fourth month in a row.

This mainly reflected a steep decrease at consumer goods producers. In contrast, export demand for UK capital goods rose at the quickest pace since August. Manufacturers indicated that logistic issues, Brexit difficulties and the possibility of further COVID restrictions (at home and overseas) had all hit export demand at the end of the year.

Manufacturing employment increased for the twelfth successive month in December, with the rate of jobs growth staying close to November’s three-month high.

Capacity remained under strain, however. This was highlighted by a further increase in outstanding business, although the pace of expansion in work-in-hand volumes eased sharply to its lowest since February.

Companies maintained a positive outlook at the end of 2021. The majority of UK firms (63 per cent) forecast that production would increase over the coming 12 months, compared to only 6 per cent anticipating a contraction.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)





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