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Manufacturers' mood takes upbeat turn

manufacturers

Activity at UK manufacturers has started to bounce back from a weak patch in the autumn, reflecting rising output and new orders. Markit's purchasing managers' index for February rose one index point to 54.1 – significantly up on a trough it reached in September but lower than the highs of a year ago. The rise in the index was underpinned by increases in output and orders, though export orders were down on the previous month. The overall level of the PMI activity index was well above the long-term average of 51.5, suggesting manufacturers have shaken off some concerns about European growth and the strength of sterling. But Rob Dobson of Markit cautioned: 'Scratching beneath the surface, we see a lopsided upturn, with the prime driver being a strong upsurge in new orders and production at consumer goods producers, while a near stalling of demand for plant and machinery points to ongoing weak business investment.'

 

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