UK Factory Activity Gathers Pace In August

The Markit UK PMI manufacturing index strengthened to 56.9 for August from an upwardly-revised 55.3 the previous month.

That's up from 51.1, and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

United Kingdom manufacturing expanded at the strongest pace in four months in August, lifted by both export orders and domestic demand. While the domestic market was the main driver, new export orders also gathered pace.

"August's PMI results showed that manufacturers in India recovered quickly from the sharp slump that followed the introduction of the Goods & Services Tax", said Pollyanna De Lima, Principal Economist at IHS Markit and the author of the report, as per PTI.

The data assumes significance as it comes a day after the government data showed the country's economic growth slipping to a three-year low of 5.7 percent in April-June, primarily due to headwinds from the manufacturing sector.

The stronger demand for exports saw companies expanding their production schedules and buying activity, while business confidence rose to its highest level for five months.

The rate of expansion in the United Kingdom manufacturing sector accelerated again in August.

The latest official data showed retail inflation rose 2.36 percent in July on an annual basis after easing for three consecutive months. August´s 56.9 is the second highest manufacturing PMI reported for the United Kingdom in over three years.

Despite the strong performance in August, there could still be clouds ahead. Manufacturers' selling prices rose at a solid, yet slower, pace.

The services sector accounts for over half of China's economy, with rising wages giving Chinese consumers the opportunity to shop and travel more.

The PMI reading, given between 0-100, measures activity in the sector - anything above 50 signals growth, while anything below means contraction.

  • Eleanor Harrison