Manufacturing sector grows in April on strong demand

Hands holding US Dollars

Manufacturing growth in the Eurozone fell to a 13-month low on the IHS Markit Purchasing Managers Index over April, as the manufacturing big beasts of Germany, Holland and Italy registered a slowdown in order growth.

"All in all, Markit's manufacturing survey provides more evidence that the economy has fundamentally slowed this year, strengthening the case even more for the MPC [Monetary Policy Committee] to hold back from raising interest rates later this month", said Samuel Tombs, the London-based chief economist for United Kingdom consultancy Pantheon Macroeconomics. The rate of growth in output was solid overall and the fastest since January. The contraction quickened to a solid pace that was the fastest since the end of 2017. Although the rate of job creation eased to its lowest since last August, it remained well above the long-run survey average.

The Pound US Dollar (GBP/USD) exchange rate crashed around 1% on Tuesday, with the pairing striking a new three-month low as the release of a robust US manufacturing PMI accentuated the pairing's losses.

Pound coins and notes
GETTYThe pound has also struggled regarding metal tariffs planned by the US

Companies trimmed staff in the face of weaker demand. Despite larger workforces, outstanding business increased and to a greater extent.

The report stated: "Of the 15 subsectors surveyed, 12 re-ported growth in the review month in the following order: Petroleum & coal products; electrical equipment; appliances & components; printing & related support activities; textile apparel leather & footwear; fabricated metal products; chemical & pharmaceutical products; food, beverage & tobacco products; paper products; furniture & related products; plastics & rubber products and transportation equipment".

PMI is calculated using five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment.

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Input prices were boosted by higher raw material prices, particularly for steel, while output prices jumped to 58.7, the highest in seven years, IHS Markit said.

According to IHS Markit's report, lower production requirements and subdued demand conditions led to the deterioration in manufacturing conditions, which exceeded the series trend.

The increase in new business was the first recorded by the survey so far in 2018. But the same survey showed a sub-index on export orders shrinking for the first time since November 2016. "But uncertainty in exports has increased significantly, and the dependence of the Chinese economy on domestic demand is rising", said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of Macroeconomic Analysis at CEBM Group.

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"Price pressures were relatively muted, with both input costs and output charges rising at much softer rates than those seen at the turn of the year".

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