UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors maintains strong growth in December

UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors maintains strong growth in DecemberContinuing to grow at healthy levels the UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors finished off the last lap of 2013.

The Markit/Cips purchasing manager's index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector showed a slight drop from November’s 33-month high of 58.1, down to 57.3 but still on line to chip in positively to the final quarter of 2013’s GDP figures.

Likewise, the construction sector’s PMI dropped slightly from November’s 75-month high reading of 62.6, down to 62.1, aided by the fastest increase in commercial work since 2007. A figure above 50.0 indicates expansion.

Although the manufacturing sector only accounts for around 10 per cent of the overall UK economy, the ninth straight month of growth, coupled with the strong performance in the construction sector and the high levels of growth seen in the vital services sector has helped the UK economy stun expectations.

Chief UK Economist at IHS Global, Howard Archer said, “The manufacturing index averaged 57.3 in the fourth quarter of 2013, which was up from 56.2 in the third quarter and was the best quarterly average since the first quarter of 2011.”

UK exporters saw a growth in demand for their products from China, Brazil, USA and Ireland. However, overall output in the manufacturing sector is still nine per cent below pre-credit crunch levels.