Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

UK Manufacturing Activity Maintains Steady Growth In March

European Open Preview: Equities soften as China retaliates; US ISM manufacturing PMI pending GBP/USD – Pound Higher, US ISM Manufacturing Dips
Jodi Jackson | 04 April, 2018, 02:08

Britain's factories increased production unexpectedly last month despite the sector experiencing its weakest quarter in a year, with signs the growth spurt enjoyed towards the end of 2017 has fizzled out.

Index figures higher than 50 indicate an overall improvement on the index. For China, which is in the midst of a tariff battle with the US, new factory orders and exports have been muted.

EUR/GBP Exchange Rate Slumps after Eurozone Manufacturing SlowdownOn the other side of the pairing, the Euro to Pound exchange rate has fallen following a set of negative Eurozone manufacturing PMI releases.

Though new export orders rose during March, Dodhia said, "On a negative note, further advances in trade disputes could potentially weigh on sales to worldwide clients". The latest reports show the nation's overall economic health was stronger in the final quarter of past year than earlier indications.

After remaining positive for the eight consecutive months, manufacturing sector activity in India declined in March to a low of five months, as the fresh business orders grew at a slower pace, and companies showed reluctance for recruitment, according to a private survey.

"Hopefully, there is no escalation in the trade war between China and the US". "Input cost inflation consequently hit the highest since 2012".

The New Orders Index registered 61.9%, a drop of 2.3 percentage points from the February reading.

"March's heavy snowfall doesn't appear to have had a particularly severe impact on supply chains", noted Ruth Gregory at Capital Economics. In March, price increases occurred across 17 of 18 industry sectors. "The growth momentum of the Chinese manufacturing economy may have weakened in March, but at a marginal pace".

Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd chief economist Alan Tan said Malaysia's manufacturing growth remains to be in the range of 5% in the first half of 2018 (1H18) supported by the robust economic growth, compared with 6% in 2017.

The Markit/Cips UK manufacturing PMI barometer of factory sentiment showed activity jumped to 55.1 from 55 in February, beating economists' forecasts for a fall in the growth rate.

A separate but similar survey from IHS Markit indicated manufacturing growth was at its highest level in three years. Export growth has more than halved since late previous year, linked in part to the appreciation of the euro and, in some cases, demand is being stymied by higher prices.

Suppliers' delivery times lengthened marginally, with raw material shortages and shipping delays reportedly behind the deterioration. And even while exports and imports are growing, prices are still increasing at a faster rate.

Viet Nam PMI dropped to 51.6 in March from February's 10-month high of 53.5.

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