Stephen Cooper, Head of Industrial Manufacturing at KPMG UK comments on the IHS Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing PMI results, released today.
He said: “The UK manufacturing PMI figures for September showed a small but nonetheless very welcome improvement. Domestic demand was more positive and orders to North America and Europe increased slightly on August’s numbers. However, this is in contrast to the overall European reading, which has seen its weakest indicator for two years. It’s also interesting that job creation at UK SMEs continued to grow, offsetting the decline in larger companies, but it’s a mixed picture, particularly for inventory levels – with some businesses building and others reducing.
“As for the future, continued political uncertainty in the form of Brexit and global trade wars, combined with fluctuating foreign exchange rates, is of concern to manufacturers and makes forecasting difficult. All the more reason then for businesses to truly understand their supply chains, particularly as inflationary pressures continue to build and supply shortages are, in some areas, evident. Manufacturers will undoubtedly be looking towards this week’s party conference speeches for more clarity.’”
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