The Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 55.1 in the month with the average reading for the first quarter of 2018 was the lowest in a year
Britain’s manufacturers saw activity soften in early 2018 according to the latest survey snapshot of the sector.
The Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 55.1 in the month, above the 50 point that separates contraction from expansion and up slightly from the 55 reading registered in February.
However, the average reading for the first quarter of 2018 was the lowest in a year.
“The latest PMI survey provided further evidence that UK manufacturing has entered a softer growth phase so far this year,” said Rob Dobson of IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that manufacturing, which accounts for around 10 per cent of UK GDP, expanded by 1.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2017 and by 2.5 per cent over the year as a whole.
Exports were helped by the weakness of pound and also strong demand from the rest of the world.