Commenting on today’s PMI data, Ms Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“At face value, today’s data got 2016 off to an encouraging start with activity levels improving a little on the back of a pickup in new orders, with domestic demand compensating for, once again, lacklustre export orders. But, looking beyond the headline there’s conflicting signals, with growth drivers narrower in terms of sub-sector and size, and manufacturing posting job losses for the fourth time in the last six months.
“The question now is whether manufacturing will regain much-needed momentum in 2016 or whether today’s figure will prove a false signal. The sector is likely to remain under pressure in the coming months from the ongoing weakness of the oil price weighing on manufacturers embedded in the oil and gas supply chain, along with weak demand from emerging markets.”