CIPS manufacturing index up in February

| March 1, 2007 | 0 Comments

CIPS manufacturing index up in February

The UK manufacturing sector grew at its fastest rate in almost 2½ years in February, boosted by exporters. The latest figures from the Chartered Institiute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS; NYSE: RBS PRM) puts its index of manufacturing at 55.4 percent in February, up from 53.2 in January. Analysts had expected the index to fall back to 53 in February. It was the nineteenth month in a row that UK manufacturing has expanded.

The new figures helped sterling strengthen as the new numbers were likely to convince some members of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee who already think that the UK economy is near capacity that demand needs to be controlled by further increases in the interest rate. In addition to the new manufacturing survey, the CIPS index of output prices was up to 56.9 in February, from 54.2 in January, for its highest rate of increase since CIPS began tracking them over 7 years ago.

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