Manufacturing slowed slightly in the UK in October, but still signaled solid improvement for the 15th consecutive month according to a report released Wednesday.
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) held above the 50.0 mark at 53.7 in October, but was down slightly from 54.5 in September. October’s reading is also above the year-to-date average of 53.2.
After peaking in September, the manufacturing production growth rate reverted to the trend noted throughout much of 2006. Companies associated higher output to increased levels of new work received. New products and improved capital and labor efficiency also contributed to a rise in production.
Companies reported higher prices paid for metals, chemicals and plastics. A decline in purchasing costs was recorded partly due to recent reductions in the price of transportation fuels.
Improvements in staff productivity and plant efficiency meant that growth of output could be sustained without raising staffing levels in October. Companies remained guarded about adding additional headcount at a time when cost pressure was somewhat high.
The full report can be accessed by clicking here.