UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index Falls to 50.9 in June as Red Sea Crisis Looms

UK's manufacturing sector, which accounts for nearly 10 per cent of the economy, grew by 1.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2024
Purchasing Managers Index Decline
Purchasing Managers Index Decline

UK's manufacturing activity growth decelerated last month compared to May's peak, which was the highest in 22 months. This slowdown was majorly owing to disruptions in shipping within the Red Sea. This led to a drop in demand from international customers.

The UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 50.9 in June from May's 51.2. The figure failed to match the initial June estimate of 51.4, as per a report by Reuters.

Despite overall positive trends such as increased output and new orders, there was a decline in overall employment and notably longer delivery times. This optimistic picture was further shadowed by a sharp rise in manufacturers' input costs, the highest since January 2023.

"Shipping issues resulting from the Red Sea crisis, low stocks at suppliers, insufficient vendor capacity and port issues all led to longer lead times," S&P said.

Export orders continued to decline for the 29th consecutive month owing to shipping delays and increased freight costs, despite output and overall new orders growing at their fastest pace in two years.

Britain's manufacturing sector, which accounts for nearly 10 per cent of the economy, grew by 1.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2024. This marks the second-strongest quarterly expansion since the beginning of 2021.

Exports of goods declined by 3.5 per cent in the first quarter largely due to fluctuations in non-monetary gold trading, which the UK's Office for National Statistics noted as a volatile factor that frequently distorts British trade data.

Meanwhile, China's PMI figure also showcased a mixed picture of the dragon economy, last week. While manufacturing activity witnessed a decline, exports surged.

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