Industry
Industry

Britain’s manufacturing sector is on a slightly firmer footing in February but still remains subject to supply-chain headwinds from the novel coronavirus outbreak and the country’s ongoing trade talks with the European Union (EU), said a report published Monday.

The seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 51.7 in February, the first time above the 50.0 neutral mark in 10 months, which suggests expansion, said a joint report from IHS Markit, a London-based global information provider, and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), a British-based global procurement and supply organisation.

The survey showed stronger demand from the domestic market led to the steepest increase in new work in 11 months, as business optimism also improved to a nine month high.

However, the upturn remains confined to the consumer and intermediate goods sectors, as the downturn at investment goods producers continued, suggesting that business confidence levels have yet to recover sufficiently to support a sustained rise in capital spending, according to the survey.

“With supply-chain headwinds rising, and trade negotiations with the EU starting, it remains to be seen whether the recovery can stay on course during the coming months,” said Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit.

Britain and the EU started talks on their future relationship in Brussels on Monday, aiming to reach a trade deal within the transition period ending December this year. Enditem

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