The closely-watched CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to a four-month high of 49.5 in August from a downwardly revised 45.2 in July. In the 17-country eurozone region, output was below the 50 mark for the 13th successive month, indicating continued contraction. In China, manufacturing activity fell to a nine-month low last month, adding to fears that its economy is slowing faster than estimated.
In the UK, orders remained overall in decline, but saw their sharpest monthly jump since the survey began in 1992. A separate survey by manufacturing body EEF, looking at conditions over the past three months, found that trading conditions were the toughest since early 2010.
The EEF said confidence in the sector was “draining away”. It now expects manufacturing output to contract by 1.5% in 2012.Credit: BBC/Reuters