Singapore factory growth slows in April, electronics cool: PMI Index

Manufacturing was an engine of growth over the past year as companies were lifted by a surge in global trade and the competitive advantages of a cheap pound

But the same survey showed a sub-index on export orders shrinking for the first time since November 2016. Optimism reflected expectations that new business and demand conditions will improve over the coming 12 months, according to panellists.

The UK construction sector has bounced back to a five-month high, led by a strong performance in house building, according to the latest IHS/Markit purchasing managers' survey.

Manufacturing employment rose for the forty-fourth month running in April.

Cai Jin, Vice President of China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP), said that the index figures for non-manufacturing industries has remained stable at 54-percent for eight consecutive months, indicating that China's domestic demand has gradually solidified as the Chinese economy becomes more service-oriented.

Commenting on the PMI data, Aashna Dodhia, Economist at IHS Markit and the author of the report, said: "The Indian manufacturing economy started the quarter on a slightly stronger footing as growth picked-up from March's five-month low, buoyed by stronger demand conditions".

There was nothing in Tuesday's PMI report to suggest British factories - which account for around a tenth of overall economic output - will regain the vigour they enjoyed in late 2017, when a recovery in the euro zone boosted British manufacturing.

Business confidence eased for the third straight month but remained largely positive, with respondents expecting sales to improve thanks to new product launches and continued global economic growth. On a three-month on three-month basis, which gives a clearer idea of the short-term trend, lending growth slowed at the fastest pace since 2000 to an annualised rate of 6.3 percent.

Meanwhile, sharper input inflation continues to raise prices of output, extending the current period of inflation to 18 months.

She noted that the recent build-up of inflationary pressures faced by manufacturers softened in April, with input cost inflation broadly in line with the historical average.

Among components, new orders, employment and purchasing activity all increased at weaker rates in April, while output grew at an accelerated pace. The weaker demand conditions also dragged output for the second consecutive month to the lowest level since July 2017.



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