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Summary of October PMI Markit/CIPS releases

05 Nov 2015

The well-regarded, and forward-looking, Markit/CIPS PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Indices) have just been released, with the overall picture of the UK economy being mostly positive, with the faster rate of expansion in service activity accompanying the steep upturn in manufacturing and robust construction sector growth. However, there are one or two caveats to the positive picture

Starting with the Services PMI (the largest component – approximately 78% of UK GDP), the report shows that growth has strengthened for the first time in four months, but remains relatively subdued, and that employment rose at the fastest pace since May. The index reading of 54.9 (50.0 represents no change in activity) was in line with the broad average for the series (53.3 in September), and indicative of a strong overall rise in activity at service providers. However, the 12-month outlook was the weakest in two-and-a-half years – though still positive

The Manufacturing PMI (approximately 13% of GDP) recorded its best month of output growth since June 2014, with the index at 55.5 (51.8 in September). The increase was driven by demand in the domestic and overseas markets, and mostly confined to the country’s larger manufacturers - small and medium sized companies activity remained roughly unchanged

The Construction (approx. 7% of GDP) index was 58.8, down from 59.9 in Sep but showed healthy levels of expansion across all three construction sub-categories – housing activity, commercial building and civil engineering. Expectations for the next 12 months are also robust, with 59% of respondents expecting a rise in activity, versus 7% expecting a decline

The PMI data from Markit/CIPS are highly regarded as reliable forward-looking data. The data is compiled from responses from companies Purchasing Managers, and are based on hard facts, not opinion, on what is happening at “grass roots” level in the economy

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