World Media

UK Factory Activity Gathers Pace In August

UK Factory Activity Gathers Pace In August”

In China, manufacturing activity accelerated to a six-month high, buoyed by the sharpest increase in new export orders in seven years and higher prices, a private survey showed.

Markit's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the sector rose to 56.9, up from 55.1 in July, and against expectations of a fall to 55.

The domestic market was the prime source of new contract wins, while the trend in new export business also remained robust.

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On the other hand, weakness in the construction sector weighed on the official non-manufacturing PMI, which retreated from 54.5 to 53.4, a 15-month low, Gambarini said - a poor omen for prices of steel and iron ore.

ADP employment data for August estimated private-sector payrolls rose by 237,000 compared a consensus estimates of 185,000.

At the same time, the survey detected a rise in business confidence to its highest level in three months. Following the GST launch, new orders and output dropped for the first time since the downturn in December previous year post demonetisation. However, nearly 31% of companies said they experienced an increase in the price of materials required for their operations, generally linked to the rising cost of commodities.

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"In addition, manufacturers' optimism regarding future production growth only edged up in August to its five-year average, suggesting that they will invest only cautiously in extra capacity".

India's services sector also gathered steam in the latest quarter and capital investments also bounced back from contraction in the March quarter. Efforts to reduce costs led many manufacturers to cut payroll jobs, but the pace of firings was the lowest in three months. Consequently, output prices rose at a solid pace that was the fastest in 2017 to date.

Commenting on the data, Rob Dobson, director of IHS Markit, said: "The key question is whether this positive start to the second half of the year can be sustained".

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