A jump in demand has helped Britain’s manufacturing businesses to a brighter start than expected in 2016, according to a recent survey.
The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to a three-month high of 52.9 in January, up from 52.1 in December, beating forecast for a reading of 51.8.
The latest PMI showed factories in the UK increased output at the quickest rate since June 2014, led by consumer and investment goods producers.
Markit said UK manufacturing production increased again during January thanks to improved inflows of new work from the domestic market, led by big manufacturers, with growth ‘comparatively mild’ at smaller companies.
Rob Dobson, a senior economist at Markit, said the manufacturing sector has managed to shrug off ‘a number of potential headwinds’ to achieve this.
“The UK manufacturing sector registered an uptick in its rate of expansion at the start of 2016, ranging from global financial market volatility to localised flooding in the north of the country,” said the senior economist.
The survey of some 600 companies paints a more uplifting picture than official data for last year.
Graham Steele, managing director at Diametric said: “As the manufacturing industry has yet to reach pre-recession levels, this is encouraging news for the sector and it shows that optimism within the industry remains strong.
“2016 could well be the year that we see an upturn in British manufacturing as we are in the automotive industry with an unprecedented amount of new car registrations.”
The survey also made clear the domestic market remains the key growth driver.
Diametric is proud to have become a member of the Made in Britain campaign, which recognises businesses who are helping to keep the manufacturing industry growing steadily across the UK.