(Sharecast News) – The downturn in the UK manufacturing sector eased in November, according to a survey released on Friday.
The S&P Global/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 47.2 from 44.8 in October. This marked the third monthly increase in a row and the highest level since April. However, it remained below the 50.0 mark that separates contraction from expansion.
All five of the PMI components – new orders, output, employment, suppliers’ delivery times and stocks of purchases – remained at levels consistent with a deterioration in operating conditions, albeit to lesser extents than in the previous month.
Rob Dobson, director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: “Although the downturn in production eased sharply in November, the latest PMI report brings little festive cheer when the finer details are considered. With new order inflows and exports continuing to fall sharply, and clients destocking, a sustained meaningful growth revival still looks elusive. Manufacturers are preparing for tough times ahead, with their continued caution leading to cutbacks in staffing, inventories and purchasing.
“The underlying sector dynamics further highlight how this combination of high uncertainty and low confidence is impacting performance. The latest scaling back of production was mainly driven by weak business-to-business and capital spending, as output and new orders contracted in both the intermediate and investment goods sectors. In contrast, activity posted a solid uptick at consumer-facing manufacturers.”