UK Manufacturing industry contracted in March

Manufacturing - welder image

According to the most recent PMI survey, the UK’s Manufacturing industry got smaller in March 2020.

What are the figures?

The PMI surveys are put together by a research group called IHS\Markit. These surveys are considered as a respected source of research that asks companies how they are doing; for example whether orders and sales are up or down. Whilst the PMI surveys are not official economic statistics, they are a useful indicator of how things might be going, and are released before the official numbers.

IHS\Markit issue a number, based on an index, for each survey. If the number is 50 or higher, it means that the economy is growing. If the number is 49.9 or less, it means the economy is contracting.

Some surveys cover all of the economy, some cover only certain sectors.  The survey issued on 01/04/20 covers Manufacturing;
• March figure is 47.8
• February was 51.7
• This means our Manufacturing industry was previously growing, but contracted in March

According to the PMI survey, the impact of measures taken to combat Coronavirus;

“…led to a substantial contraction of UK manufacturing production during March…”.

Comparison

So the UK figure was 47.8. How did other similar countries do?
• France – 43.2
• Germany – 45.4
• Italy – 40.3
• Japan – 44.8
• USA – 48.5
• Canada – 46.1
• Ireland – 45.1
• Eurozone – 44.5

Summary

So, although the PMI survey is just that, a survey, it seems likely that our Manufacturing industry has contracted in March.

Sources

https://www.markiteconomics.com/Public?language=en