United Kingdom factory growth cools in December from four-year highs - PMI

02 January, 2018, 11:54 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • Smog engulfs Shanghai- measures to counter pollution in China have damaged manufacturing output Wikimedia Commons

Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the sector.

The pickup in December's manufacturing PMI came on the back of strong demand both at home and overseas.

China is expected to have grown by close to 7 percent in 2017, but the world's second largest economy is likely to slow in the new year on the back of those measures, highlighted as policy priorities at October's key Communist Party congress.

Brexit has weakened the pound against the euro making British exports to its biggest trading partner much cheaper Shutterstock
Brexit has weakened the pound against the euro making British exports to its biggest trading partner much cheaper Shutterstock

The World Bank last month raised its projection for China's gross domestic product (GDP) previous year to 6.8%, up from its October estimate of 6.7%, citing support from strong exports and robust domestic household consumption.

Another major tech producer, Taiwan, saw manufacturing activity hitting its highest since April 2011 at 56.6 last month, according to a December survey. The rate of expansion in France was the fastest for over 17 years.

"Twenty-seventeen was a record-breaking year for the German manufacturing sector", IHS Markit economist Phil Smith said. It was the first slowdown in growth since early 2016.

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Singapore on Tuesday posted slower economic growth in the fourth quarter than the third as manufacturing shrank 11.5 percent following an eye-popping 38 percent jump in the previous three months.

"A lingering concern is that supply-side constraints pose a risk to the sector's ability to kick on", Smith said, adding that huge delivery delays would inevitably be borne out by sustained upward pressure on input costs.

At the annual Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) chaired by President Xi Jinping, top policymakers pledged to focus on creating "high quality" growth. Concerns over relatively subdued client demand and government policy changes dampened confidence. PMI for the high-tech sector picked up further to 53.8 in December from 53.2 in November, NBS data showed.

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"The PMI has remained above 51 and even exceeded 52 in September". The geographic distributions of the companies covered in the two polls are also different. The survey's authors said a number of respondents signalled that they were receiving higher new orders from customers in North America. The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index will be published on Thursday.

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