PMI Spikes in January

In response, manufacturers raised the prices they charged for their goods at the fastest pace since April 2011.

Meanwhile, exchange rate depreciation against the euro and the United States dollar resulted in the strongest rate of input cost inflation since August 2008.

Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said the survey told "a positive story about the sector", with the all the important output and orders components remaining firmly in positive territory. The expansion was underpinned by a solid increase in new order intakes, mainly from the domestic market. The latest rise in new work was the least marked since October 2016. Ten of the sixteen sub-sectors surveyed recorded decline in the review month in the following order: primary metal; transportation equipment; paper products; electrical equipment; fabricated metal products; printing and related support activities; cement; furniture and related products; plastics and rubber products; and chemical and pharmaceutical products. Firms barely added to their staffing levels, partially due to spare capacity, and reduced growth of input buying and inventory accumulation, the research firm said.

However, supply chain pressures persisted while firms maintained stock reduction policies.

Average cost burdens increased at the steepest pace for nearly eight-and-a-half years in January.

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There was a sharp and accelerated pace of cost inflation linked to higher commodity prices and rising imported raw material costs.

The UK Markit construction PMI declined to a five-month low of 52.2 for January from 54.2 the previous month and was below consensus forecasts for a more subdued decline to 53.8.

New data suggests that both Ireland and Euro zone manufacturing have had strong starts to 2017. Currency weakness meanwhile continues to feed through to costs.

Euro-area manufacturing expanded at the strongest pace in almost six years, with firm order growth signaling a build-up of underlying price pressures.

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