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August 2, 2010    

UK manufacturing activity slows further in July

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by Kay Murchie

The CIPS/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has today revealed UK manufacturing activity slowed further in July.

The closely-watched CIPS/Markit manufacturing PMI dipped slightly from 57.6 in June to 57.3 in July.

However, the reading exceeded forecasts of 57.0 and is still close to May’s 15-year high of 58.1.

Furthermore, the sector has now expanded for a whole year and it remains way above the crucial 50 mark.

Commenting on the figures, Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said: “This all suggests that the manufacturing sector will remain a strong contributor to GDP in the third quarter, raising hopes that growth of the economy may not slow too significantly.”

He adds: “There are some concerns that growth may slow more sharply in coming months, however, especially in relation to exports. Overseas sales growth collapsed from a survey record rate of increase in April to near-stagnation in July.”

In the meantime, the PMI survey showed export orders slowed from 51.5 in June to 50.8 in July - the third straight month this index has fallen.

In related news today, the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) issued caution for the manufacturing sector.

The industry trade body said the manufacturing sector experienced a strong start to the year but it needs to prepare for a decline in the autumn as a result of weak demand.

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