Economy

New orders push factory PMI up in August

New orders push factory PMI up in August

The latest purchasing managers index (PMI), a gauge of factory conditions, came in at 51.7 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, up from the 51.4 reading in July.

The data, which showed broad-based expansion across all product categories, suggest continuing healthy United Kingdom economic growth and lifted the British Pound, although it quickly lost some of its gains as traders waited for the U.S. non-farm payrolls data.

Manufacturing output declined to 54.3 from 56.3, though some survey respondents reported having a greater number of projects in the pipeline.

To keep pace with rising client demand, companies increased staffing numbers for the fourth straight month in August, at the most marked pace in more than 17 years.

"Today's data confirm that United Kingdom manufacturers are looking beyond the Brexit negotiations to strengthening market opportunities in Europe and beyond, with the acceleration in manufacturing activity in August helping to provide some welcome offset to sluggish consumer demand at home", added Ms Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation.

Chinese manufacturing activity picked up pace in August, according to an official survey indicating a crucial component of the world's second-biggest economy is holding firm.

Group's Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) jumped by 3.8 points to 59.8 last month, marking an eleventh consecutive month of growth. However, the overall rate of increase remained well below the record high seen at the start of the year.

There was solid growth across the consumer, intermediate and investment goods sectors.

Growth in exports eased off only slightly from a seven-year high in July, helped by stronger demand from key markets in Europe, the United States and elsewhere and by the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote.


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