Manufacturing performance continues to be strong
Today saw further evidence that manufacturing is by far the strongest sector of the economy. The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index reached another record high, reaching 58.3 in December, up from 57.5 one month earlier.
The PMI is based on a survey of purchasing managers, a figure over 50 shows growth – and the Index has now been over 50 for 17 consecutive months. Today’ figure is the highest since 1994 and Markit, the company responsible for producing the Index, described the figures as
a truly spectacular end to 2010.
The survey also showed employment in manufacturing rising for the ninth month in a row. The survey also reported inflationary pressures from input costs, which rose at a 19-year record rate.
Last month also saw very good results for manufacturing which were followed by rather ordinary figures for services (which account for two thirds of the economy). The next services PMI are due on Thursday, when we will be able to see if this pattern is repeated.