UK manufacturing left 2021 on a high note

The year ended for UK manufacturing on the up, according to the latest UK Manufacturing PMI from IHS Markit/CIPS. The PMI continued its 19-month long streak of staying above 50, which indicates neutral attitudes. At 57.9, it had not changed much since the previous month’s figure of 58.1.

Supply chain constraints have plagued much of the UK economy this year, but a slight alleviation in delays mitigated some of the effects of rising input prices. Nevertheless, the IHS Markit/CIPS release indicates that without the ongoing staff shortages and supply disruptions, the manufacturing sector would have expanded more.

In a statement, IHS Markit Director Rob Dobson said that the survey results indicated that UK manufacturing expanded at the most rapid pace for four months at the end of the year, and this was:

“Supported by increased intakes of new work, efforts to reduce backlogs of work and higher employment. While the uptick in growth is a positive step, the upturn remains subdued compared to the middle of the year, as supply chain constraints and weak export performance constrained attempts to raise production further.”

Dobson added, however, that the potential for new COVID-19 restrictions, Brexit-related issues and logistical challenges had impacted the demand for exports towards the end of the year.

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