IHS Markit’s survey of UK purchasing managers has revealed that the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for manufacturing was 56.9 in January. While this is one point down on December and less than the analysts’ expected value of 57.6, it still reflects overall growth in activity as it is above 50.
Staff shortages, the Omicron variant and cost pressures were all cited as potential factors for the slight slowdown in growth. A rate hike by the Bank of England is also widely expected in February, although this may actually reassure businesses that are worried about the effects of high inflation rates.
Nevertheless, there is cause for optimism in the new data. Manufacturing output hit a five-month high thanks to materials availability improving. The downturn in the hospitality sector is also expected to reverse with COVID-19 restrictions being eased, and this may have knock-on consequences for manufacturers.
In a statement, a senior economist at HSBC, Elizabeth Martins, also pointed to the supply indicators improving in the manufacturing survey, saying that this is:
“Something which should enable stronger growth in the sector: we saw the beginnings of this in November, when manufacturing output rose 1.1% month on month, after having seen near-zero or negative growth in each of the preceding six months—a reflection of supply conditions more than demand, in our view.”
While it is certainly a challenging period for manufacturing, our team at TrAchem can help by ensuring that you benefit from using the most efficient lubricants, such as the Kluber Summit compressor oils. Reach out to us to learn more.