British manufacturing PMI hits 16-month high

London, Nov 3 (IANS) British manufacturing Purchasing Manager Index (PMI), a gauge of industry activities, gained momentum to hit a 16-month high of 55.5 in October, according to figures released by survey provider Markit on Monday.

The performance of the British manufacturing sector showed a noticeable improvement on the upwardly revised figure of 51.8 posted in September (originally reported as 51.5), Xinhua news agency reported.

Data showed that in October, there were solid improvements in the rates of growth in output and new orders.

The domestic market remained the prime source of new contract wins, while back-to-back increases in new export business were signalled for the first time since the third quarter of 2014.

Sector data pointed to broad-based expansions of both output and new business during October, with rates of increase moving higher at consumer, intermediate and investment goods producers.

“The start of the final quarter saw the manufacturing spring back into life and record its best month of factory output growth since June 2014. The revival provides a tentative suggestion that the manufacturers are pulling out of their recent funk, having been dogged by recession since the start of the year, and may help boost economic growth in the fourth quarter,” said Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compilers Markit.

“With global raw material prices on a continuing downward path, purchasers increased their levels of stocks at a rate not seen for almost five years.

“So, if other sectors follow suit, there will be more conviction that British economic recovery is at last ongoing and sustainable,” said David Noble, group chief executive officer at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

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