UK March final manufacturing PMI 58.9 vs 57.9 prelim

Latest data released by Markit – 1 April 2021

The preliminary report can be found here. The positive revision reaffirms more robust manufacturing activity in the UK to start the year, with the headline reading being the highest it has been in over 10 years.

Of note, the growth in output, new orders and employment are improving with business optimism seen at a 7-year high as well. Markit notes that:

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“Signs of Spring have appeared in the UK
manufacturing sector, with the PMI hitting its highest
level in a decade. Growth of output, order books and
employment all gathered momentum and optimism
about the year ahead improved further. The domestic
market remained the prime source of new orders,
as companies reported that the vaccine roll-out and
clients’ preparations for the loosening of lockdown
restrictions underpinned the expansion. Many expect
this process to be supportive during the year ahead as
well, raising business optimism and jobs growth to their
highest levels for seven years.

“Weak export sales and supply-chain issues are likely
to remain constraints on growth moving forward,
however, with shipping issues already leading to severe
disruption to production schedules, raw material
availability and the onward distribution of finished
products to clients, especially abroad. The extent to
which supply chains have worsened through much of
the past year has been unsurpassed during the near
three-decade survey history.

“Demand outstripping supply to such a wide extent is
meanwhile driving up prices, with rates of inflation in
input costs and selling prices both accelerating to near-record highs. The longer these inflationary and supply chain worries persist, the greater the potential to curb
the strength of the upturn as the economy unlocks in the
coming weeks and months.”


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