Output in United Kingdom factories hits 17-month low during April

According to the apex bank: "The manufacturing and non-Manufacturing PMI report on businesses is based on survey responses, indicating the changes in the level of business activities in the review month compared with the preceding month".

Indian manufacturers faced higher input costs during April, thereby extending the current period of inflation to just over two-and-a-half years.

This is the ninth consecutive month that the manufacturing PMI remained above the 50-point-mark.

IHS Markit economist Aashna Dodhia said the health of the manufacturing economy deteriorated at the strongest pace since October 2017 in April, reflecting lacklustre demand from domestic and global markets.

On the price front, input price inflation softened to a nine-month low in April, but remained sharp.

"April's data provides some relief after last month's weather disruption, especially for the housing sector after a lacklustre few months".

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As per the survey, improvements in demand conditions and rising production resulted in marginal growth in job creation last month.

The gauge for future expectations slipped to a historic low in April but the majority of firms remained confident that new product designs, a solid economic climate, planned business expansions and a wider product range would drive output growth over the coming 12 months. The contraction quickened to a solid pace that was the fastest since the end of 2017.

There was nothing in Tuesday's PMI report to suggest British factories - which account for around a tenth of overall economic output - will regain the vigour they enjoyed in late 2017, when a recovery in the euro zone boosted British manufacturing.

According to the NBS, the country's non-manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace for a second consecutive month in April, rising from 54.6 in March to 54.8. "Meanwhile, investment goods was the weakest performing category as both production and new orders declined during April".

Ms Ling expects manufacturing growth to ease to around 6.3 per cent year on year in the second quarter, after the first quarter's strong 10.1 per cent showing. The survey noted that business sentiment was at the strongest level since the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) in July 2017.

  • Rita Burton