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June 1, 2010    

UK manufacturing activity maintains 15-year high

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by Kay Murchie

The CIPS/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has today revealed UK manufacturing activity growth held steady in May, at the 15-year high.

The closely-watched CIPS/Markit manufacturing PMI remained unchanged at 58 last month.

The index has exceeded the crucial 50 mark, which represents growth, since July 2009 and May’s figure just exceeded analysts’ expectations of a level of 57.8.

Commenting on the figures, Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said strong export growth and domestic demand had boosted manufacturers in the last few months, but the outlook remained uncertain.

“Austerity measures announced in the UK may cool home demand, while export sales may be hit by the sovereign debt crisis in our largest trading partner the euro zone,” said Mr Dobson.

The news comes just a week after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed the UK economy grew by 0.3% in the January to March period – slightly higher than the 0.2% previously estimated.

There will be a third and final estimate next month.

Meanwhile, the annual fall now stands at 0.2% – again an upwardly revised figure and the smallest decline since the third quarter of 2008.

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