United Kingdom manufacturing growth unexpectedly hits 2-1/2-year high - PMI

United Kingdom manufacturing growth unexpectedly hits 2-1/2-year high - PMI

United Kingdom manufacturing growth unexpectedly hits 2-1/2-year high - PMI

The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI, compiled by Markit from its business surveys in 28 countries, rose from 52.1 in November to 52.7 in December, its highest since February 2014.

Manufacturers faced a substantial increase in input costs in December, mainly linked to higher prices for steel, zinc and dairy products, forcing them to raise output prices for the first time in 70 months.

A private gauge of Japan's manufacturing sector has shown that factory activity in the world's third-largest economy expanded at its fastest pace in 12 months in December.

Almost half - 48% - of the firms surveyed for the report expect business activity to step up over the next year, with business confidence hitting a three-month high.

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Jan 3 British manufacturing growth climbed to a two-and-a-half-year high last month, fuelled by new orders from both home and overseas and adding to signs the economy ended 2016 strongly, a survey showed on Tuesday. The region's services sector registered a growth rate of 53.7, well above the 50 mark that generally separates contraction but down 0.1 points from the final November reading.

"While growth slowed precipitously following the UK's Brexit vote, the accelerated pace of expansion seen since then shows that the sector has gotten back on track, presumably aided by the kicker from a strong U.S. dollar and ongoing domestic strengthening".

"Business activity in the service sector fell for the second consecutive month in December, reflecting a steeper reduction in incoming new work".

The Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index registered 46.8 in December, showing little change from November's reading of 46.7 and indicating a further contraction in output. The components include new orders, which weigh the most at 30 percent of the index; output, 25 percent; employment, 20 percent; suppliers' delivery time, 15 percent, and stocks of purchases, 10 percent.

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Britain's economy has fared much better than many economists predicted since the vote to leave the European Union, with consumer spending strong and companies performing well.

Chen Zhongtao, an analyst at the China Logistics Information Center, said a combination of positive factors had contributed to China's economic activity, including increasing demand, rising prices, restructuring and a good job market.

In the first three quarters, China's GDP grew 6.7 percent, within the official target of 6.5 to 7 percent.

The Bank of England is also watching inflation pressures closely.

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