Manufacturers’ orders soar as low prices see shoppers splashing outComments Off on Manufacturers’ orders soar as low prices see shoppers splashing out
The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply’s latest activity index — where a score over 50 signals growth — ticked higher to 54.4 last month from 54 in February, the strongest growth for eight months.
The data showed manufacturers focused on consumer goods are enjoying by far the biggest rise in orders, as shoppers buoyed by low petrol and food prices splash out.
Manufacturing jobs rose for the 23rd month in a row as firms hired at the rate of 5000 a month.
Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compiler Markit, said: “Scratching beneath the surface of the numbers we can see that the drivers of growth are heavily skewed towards domestic consumers.”
Deutsche Bank chief UK economist George Buckley said the survey was “consistent with about 0.7% growth” for the first quarter of the year, giving a potential boost to Chancellor George Osborne a week before polling day when official growth estimates are released.
Growth for 2014 has been upgraded from 2.6% to 2.8%.