Manufacturing Sector Saw A Disappointing December

3rd January 2018.

A slowdown in consumer spending last month pushed UK manufacturing to a disappointing year-end.

IHS Markit’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reported that while there was some growth within the manufacturing sector in December, this came well below expectations.

The squeeze on household was a contributing factor to the disappointing findings, with the consumer goods sector facing a loss of momentum as shoppers remained reluctant to splash out on big purchases.

The PMI further found that employment within the sector was at the slowest pace in six months, with job creation finally slowing.

Nevertheless, during the year, companies reported that they had scaled up production in response to new work and the launch of new product lines. In particular, demand improved from Europe, the US, China and the Middle East, the survey found.

The manufacturing sector, which accounts for around 10 percent of the UK’s overall economic output, had a boom month in November when it hit a four-year high and despite a more subdued December looks set to continue in growth.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY ITEM Club, mirrors the bright outlook for the sector and insists that everything still looks “pretty healthy”.

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