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UK manufacturing grows at fastest rate in 27 years

IHS Market/CIPS PMI reached 60.9 in April

UK manufacturing grew at the fastest rate in nearly 27 years during April as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The IHS Market/CIPS PMI reached 60.9 last month, while any level above 50 represents an expansion.

The figure was significantly up from the 58.9 level seen in March, and the highest since July 1994, when UK PMI was at 61.

The positive results come ahead of the Bank of England’s anticipated upgraded growth forecasts this week.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has made the case that the UK is well-positioned for a strong recovery, as those who have remained in their jobs throughout the pandemic will have pent-up savings to the tune of billions of pounds.

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Manufacturing managers, who were interviewed as part of the survey, said the relaxing of restrictions, increased demand and rising backlogs of work have seen growth in output.

The UK manufacturing sector has now seen growth for 11 months in a row.

Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit, said: “Further loosening of COVID-19 restrictions at home and abroad led to another marked growth spurt at UK factories.”

“The headline PMI rose to a near 27-year high, as output and new orders expanded at increased rates. The outlook for the sector is also increasingly positive, with two-thirds of manufacturers expecting output to be higher in one year’s time.”

“Export growth remains relatively subdued, however, as small manufacturers struggle to export.”

The survey also found evidence that inflation is on the rise, as average selling prices increased at a quickest rate since the survey began in 1999.

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