Manufacturing sector contracts for third month in a row, index shows

Manufacturing sector contracts for third month in a row, index shows

Manufacturing sector contracts for third month in a row, index shows

August survey data signaled a solid rise in total new work placed at Chinese manufacturers, with the rate of expansion the quickest seen for 37 months. This was highlighted by the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) posting 56.9, up from 55.3 in July, to its second-highest level in over three years. That confounded forecasts for a modest slowdown to 55.0 in a Reuters poll of economists and was well above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

Britain's manufacturers stepped up production at the fastest pace in seven months in August, taking on more workers to keep up with strong demand from home and overseas.

The number comes after United Kingdom manufacturers saw an uptick in new orders within the domestic market while export orders also remained robust during the month.

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To cope, companies stepped up the pace of hiring, which Gill said a current upswing in employment still had "far from run its course".

Manufacturers said they expected output to rise in August and fall in September, suggesting factory activity is losing a little momentum after faster gains earlier this year.

"All sub-sectors posted substantial recoveries, with capital goods outperforming its consumer and intermediate goods counterparts regarding growth rates for production", noted De Lima in the report.

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Job creation was reported despite backlogs contracting for the fifteenth consecutive month, the release said, adding that although the rate of decline was weaker than that for July, it was faster than the index series average.

That echoed similarly robust official data on Thursday suggesting the industrial sector is continuing to prosper from a year-long, government-led building boom. Purchase price inflation accelerated for the first time in seven months during August. Still, the PMI report showed input costs rising due to higher prices for energy, fuel and metals.

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