TOP NEWS: Downturn in UK manufacturing continues into February

(Alliance News) - The UK manufacturing downturn continued in February, as weak demand and the Red ...

Alliance News 1 March, 2024 | 9:45AM
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(Alliance News) - The UK manufacturing downturn continued in February, as weak demand and the Red Sea shipping crisis disrupt production, new survey data on Friday showed.

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global UK manufacturing purchasing managers' index reading was 47.5 points in February, up from 47.0 in January and above the earlier flash estimate of 47.1.

Whilst the February score was up from the prior month, the figure remained below the 50-point no-change mark. This means the UK manufacturing sector shrank again last month.

Although the PMI has signalled contractions in each of the past 19 months, the latest reading was the best since April 2023.

S&P said that four out of the five PMI sub-components – output, new orders, employment and stocks of purchases – were showing trends consistent with overall contraction. The only sub-index to have a positive effect on the PMI level was suppliers' delivery times, which lengthened to the greatest extent since July 2022.

"UK manufacturers faced challenging circumstances in February, as the ongoing impact of the Red Sea crisis delayed raw material deliveries, inflated purchase prices and impacted production capabilities. There were also knock-on effects for demand, as new export orders were hit by both supply disruptions and higher shipping costs. Production volumes subsequently contracted for the twelfth successive month while total new orders fell at the sharpest rate since October," said Rob Dobson, Director at S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The manufacturing survey draws upon a panel of 650 firms. Responses to the survey are collected in the second half of the month.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News senior reporter

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