25/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 16:05

UK manufacturing growth at 10-month high in March

Category: Business

Published: 2nd Apr 2012 10:59:57

The UK's manufacturing sector grew at its fastest pace for 10 months in March, a survey has indicated.

The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for manufacturing rose to 52.1 last month from 51.5 in February. A reading above 50 implies growth.

The data is an encouraging sign that the UK economy grew in the first three months of 2012 and avoided a recession.

But while there was a pick-up in new orders, March output was also boosted by clearing backlogs of existing work.

Markit said that conditions in the sector remained tough, with firms facing high oil and metal prices.

But it said that both domestic and overseas demand had improved.

"UK manufacturing has made a brighter than expected start to 2012, with PMI data pointing to output growth of around 0.3% in the first quarter," Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said.

"This is obviously nowhere near a strong pace, but it is at least sufficient to prevent the sector from remaining a drag on broader GDP growth.

"Inflows of domestic and export orders also showed some improvement in March, but exporters are having to tap markets further afield as conditions in the eurozone remain lethargic."

New orders rose at their quickest pace for a year in March, the data showed.

In another encouraging sign, the PMI for February was also revised upwards to 51.5 from a previously-stated 51.2.

Peter Dixon at Commerzbank said the figures indicated that the manufacturing sector performed reasonably strongly in the first quarter, "which interestingly is not being confirmed so far by the ONS's official numbers".

"We'll wait and see what the services figures look like later in the week, but I still suspect that these are consistent with a GDP growth rate of somewhere in the region of 0.2%," he said.

"It would therefore break the cycle that was represented by the sharp decline in Q4."

The service sector PMI figures will be released on Wednesday.

The manufacturing survey indicated output growth of 0.3% in the first quarter of 2012 after a 0.7% decline in the fourth quarter of last year.

That contributed to the overall economy contracting 0.3% in the last three months of 2011.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. UK manufacturing growth at 10-month high in March [Online] (Updated 2nd Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1420107/UK-manufacturing-growth-at-10-month-high-in-March [Accessed 25th Jul 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Woolly outfits surprise for statues

    Wool is not usually the thing to wear when the sun is beating down, but a trio of statues in Cardiff Bay have found themselves clothed in an unexpected layer of it.
  • Could bulk-buying save NHS pounds?

    Would it be better if the NHS bought in bulk?
  • Princess Anne marks Highland Stoneware's 40th

    Princess Anne has visited a producer of hand-painted ceramics to help mark the company's 40th anniversary.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • UK economy: Why aren't I feeling better?

    This morning's economic growth figures confirmed that the UK economy has returned to its pre-recession peak from 2008.
  • Gun cartridge left at Carrickfergus Alliance office

    A shotgun cartridge has been found in a plastic box tied to the lock of an Alliance Party constituency office in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.