UK manufacturing PMI reaches 15-month high in Dec.: Markit
By David Milliken, ReutersLONDON--British factory activity jumped unexpectedly in December to grow at its fastest pace since September 2011, a survey showed on Wednesday, raising the chance that the economy eked out growth at the end of 2012.
January 3, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
The Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to a 15-month high of 51.4 in December from an upwardly revised 49.2 in November — a far stronger increase than any predicted in a Reuters poll of 24 economists.
Britain's economy is forecast to shrink 0.1 percent in the last three months of 2012. But stronger-than-expected official services output data for October, released just before Christmas, raised the prospect that the economy will avoid contraction.
The manufacturing index's upturn takes it above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction for the first time since March, and breaks with poor official data, which showed a 1.3-percent fall in factory output for October.
“UK manufacturing exited 2012 on a positive note, with December's PMI data signalling a reassuringly solid return to growth for the sector,” said Rob Dobson, the Markit economist who compiled the survey.
“The domestic market remained the main spur for growth ... in December, although there are also signs that global trade flows are stabilising as China and the U.S. strengthen and the downturn in the eurozone eases,” he added.