UK manufacturing growth 'slowed in April'

Mini plant, Oxford The manufacturing PMI has shown growth for five consecutive months

Growth in the UK manufacturing sector slowed in April, according to an influential survey.

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) dropped to 50.5 in April, down from 51.9 in March.

Any figure about 50 indicates an expansion of the sector. April's figure was the fifth consecutive month of growth.

The slowdown was partly blamed on the steepest fall in new orders since May 2009.

"The good news is that manufacturing clocked up a fifth straight rise, whilst cost pressures have eased a little and some firms are still recruiting," said Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation.

"The bad is that ever-present eurozone woes are still bearing down on the short term outlook, with some suggestion of renewed downward pressure on export orders over the past month."

It is one of the first signs of the state of the economy in the second quarter of 2012, following the news that the economy has contracted 0.2% in the first three months of the year.

The manufacturing sector accounts for about 11% of the UK economy.

Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said the survey was: "Disappointing and an early blow to hopes that the economy will return to growth in the second quarter, especially as the extra day's public holiday resulting from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee will hold back overall economic activity during the quarter."

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories



  • Alana Saarinen at pianoMum, Dad and Mum

    The girl with three biological parents

  • Polish and British flags alongside British roadsideWar debt

    Does the UK still feel a sense of obligation towards Poles?

  • Islamic State fighters parade in Raqqa, Syria (30 June 2014)Who backs IS?

    Where Islamic State finds support to become a formidable force

  • Bride and groom-to-be photographed underwaterWetted bliss

    Chinese couples told to smile, but please hold your breath

  • A ship is dismantled for scrap in the port city of Chittagong, BangladeshDangerous work

    Bangladesh's ship breakers face economic challenge

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.