Latest data released by Markit - 1 April 2021
The preliminary report can be found here. The positive revision reaffirms more robust manufacturing activity in the UK to start the year, with the headline reading being the highest it has been in over 10 years.
Of note, the growth in output, new orders and employment are improving with business optimism seen at a 7-year high as well. Markit notes that:
"Signs of Spring have appeared in the UK manufacturing sector, with the PMI hitting its highest level in a decade. Growth of output, order books and employment all gathered momentum and optimism about the year ahead improved further. The domestic market remained the prime source of new orders, as companies reported that the vaccine roll-out and clients' preparations for the loosening of lockdown restrictions underpinned the expansion. Many expect this process to be supportive during the year ahead as well, raising business optimism and jobs growth to their highest levels for seven years.
"Weak export sales and supply-chain issues are likely to remain constraints on growth moving forward, however, with shipping issues already leading to severe disruption to production schedules, raw material availability and the onward distribution of finished products to clients, especially abroad. The extent to which supply chains have worsened through much of the past year has been unsurpassed during the near three-decade survey history.
"Demand outstripping supply to such a wide extent is meanwhile driving up prices, with rates of inflation in input costs and selling prices both accelerating to near-record highs. The longer these inflationary and supply chain worries persist, the greater the potential to curb the strength of the upturn as the economy unlocks in the coming weeks and months."