Stephen Cooper, Head of Industrial Manufacturing at KPMG UK, comments on the Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI figures published today.
He said: “Uncertainty is the main theme which underpins some of the data in this month’s manufacturing PMI. Europe continues to demonstrate increasing growth and optimism, which is great to see, as they are a critical trading partner. The UK’s figures, whilst still in growth mode with a PMI result of 54.3, reflect the uncertainty felt across Britain, related to both politics and Brexit. While we continue to remain in positive territory, this month’s results show a mixed picture. On the one hand, the UK results display the strongest quarter for three years, with manufacturing employment continuing to rise. On the other hand, we are seeing a slowdown in growth of new business, leading to concerns about the ability of the manufacturing industry to contribute to wider UK economic growth over the next year.
“This is just a one month reading, but it is interesting to see that today’s SMMT report also reflects upon the impact that this uncertainty is having on manufacturing investment. The industry has previously shown signs of resolve, despite the challenges it faces, so let’s hope that UK manufacturers can maintain this success over summer.”
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