The UK manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace in September as growth in output and new orders gained traction, survey data from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed Monday.
The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose unexpectedly to 53.8 in September from 53.0 in August. The score was forecast to drop to 52.5 from August’s initially estimated 52.8.
The indicator remained above the neutral 50.0 mark for 26 months, signaling expansion in the sector.
Data revealed a broad-based improvement in business conditions across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors.
Production rose for the twenty-sixth successive month in September, with the rate of increase rising to a four-month high.
Reflecting improved inflows from the domestic and export markets, new orders logged a solid increase in September.
Employment in the sector also increased at the end of the third quarter, indicating efforts to meet the dual needs of work on new and existing contracts.
On the price front, data showed that purchasing costs increased at the quickest pace since June. Output charges also rose at a faster pace in September.
“…there are still weaknesses in the sector and that doubt remains deepseated until a robust Brexit deal is signed on the dotted line,” Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said.
The rebound in the manufacturing PMI in September provides some reassurance that concerns about disruption to trade in the event of a no-deal Brexit are not weighing too heavily on the sector, Andrew Wishart, an economist at Capital Economics, said.