The manufacturing PMI for December has just been released, rising to a reading of 56.1, outperforming economists' slowdown predictions.
Carol Roberts, Managing Director, Bibby Financial Services comments on the latest Markit/CIPS manufacturing survey;
“The building momentum in manufacturing is welcome news as we enter 2017. Increased demand from both overseas and domestic markets bodes well for large and small businesses alike. Our own SME Confidence Tracker found that over a third (37%) of SMEs saw an increase in sales throughout Q4 2016 with one in ten (10%) reporting a significant increase in sales. As we face what could be a topsy turvy trading environment, rising demand from the UK domestic market may need to offset any potential fall in export demands as the UK formally begins exiting the EU. From our perspective we are seeing SMEs adopt a more cautious approach towards significant capital investment as they anticipate uncertainty ahead. For example anecdotally we are seeing reports of smaller manufacturing businesses seeking mergers and consolidations as owners leave firms which brings a number of re-finance opportunities to the asset finance industry in the uncertain post-Brexit market.”