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Purchasing managers index at 54.9 in February

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI increased to 54.9 in February of 2021 from 54.1 in January, beating market forecasts of 53.2.

  • The rate of factory growth was one of the weakest since the recovery began in June 2020.
  • Employment increased marginally and new orders returned to growth while export sales remained weak.
  • Manufacturing companies often cited severe supply chain disruptions as a factor holding back production volumes.
  • This was attributed to international shipping delays, strong worldwide demand for raw materials and Brexit-related trade frictions.
  • Also, the scale of the downturn in vendor performance was the second-largest since the survey began in 1992 (exceeded only by those seen in April 2020).
  • Some manufacturers commented on weaker sales volumes due to temporary closures among clients in the consumer services sector, especially hospitality businesses.

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