The latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) has revealed that British manufacturing performed well last month, with the sector bolstered by strong demand from buyers and consumers here in the UK and overseas.
IHS Markit’s ongoing tracker, which assesses sector performance each month, found that British manufacturing rose to 56.3 in October – up from a reading of 56 recorded the previous month.
Generally speaking, any reading above 50 is thought to be indicative of expansion.
The good news has already pushed sterling up in value by 0.2 per cent, with the pound now sitting at $1.331 against the dollar and €1.143 against the euro.
Commentators have also been keen to point out that the good news has exceeded expectations laid out by City of London analysts before the report came in – with estimates assuming that the reading would not be above 55.8.
The news also comes shortly after a survey carried out by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) suggested that confidence among UK manufacturers had fallen for the first time in a year, with export and domestic orders on the rise but confidence and investment intentions waning amid a backdrop of political uncertainty.
Despite the concerns raised, the latest PMI suggests strong growth all round, and IHS Markit has indicated that it expects firms to continue to “ramp up production” going forward.
Rob Dobson, of IHS Markit, said that the “continued robust health” of the sector and “rising price pressures” would also help to cement the Bank of England’s expected decision to raise interest rates this afternoon.