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Manufacturing in UK at highest point for 15 months

January 2, 2013

UK factory activity in December shows fastest growth since September 2011.

The Guardian reports that a survey has found that there was an unexpected increase in UK manufacturing activity at the end of 2012, indicating the fastest growth in manufacturing for 15 months.

According to the article, the Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.4 in December, a stronger-than-expected increase from 49.2 in November and the highest for 15 months. It is also stated that the rise takes it from contraction to growth for the first time since March 2012, with 50 being the cut-off point.

Rob Dobsob, an economist for Markit who compiled the survey, commented: “UK manufacturing exited 2012 on a positive note, with December’s PMI data signalling a reassuringly solid return to growth for the sector.

“The domestic market remained the main spur for growth in December, although there are also signs that global trade flows are stabilising as China and the US strengthen and the downturn in the euro one eases.”

The results of the survey suggest that Britain’s economy, which is forecast to shrink 0.1 percent in 4Q12, “may avoid contraction”, with new orders rising at the “fastest rate since March 2011” due to domestic demand, although export orders still fell. “Business confidence […] remains fragile and could easily be derailed by setbacks in key export markets, notably any resurgence of the Eurozone debt crisis,” added Dobson.

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