Commenting on the IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI for November, which jumped to 58.2 up from 56.6 in October – Duncan Johnston, UK manufacturing industry leader at Deloitte, said:
“This month’s headline result has been boosted by strong domestic demand and significant gains in new export business, driven by overseas growth in US and Europe. The impact of previous declines in sterling appears to be reducing, as the index indicates that the UK manufacturing sector continues to strengthen.
“The result sees the highest level in four years and follows the strongest order books in almost 30 years reported by the CBI, increasing optimism among manufacturers.
“The plans outlined in the Government’s Industrial Strategy for investment in AI, science and maths subjects and most importantly, in our view, technical training are also encouraging news for the sector in the longer term. This opportunity could drive further adoption of AI and analytics in the manufacturing sector. It will be key for Government to effectively implement and deliver the actions spelled out in the strategy.
“Looking ahead to 2018 the prospects for the sector depend not on the measures for the long term but shorter-term issues, such as the continuing strength of export demand and how cost inflation can be passed onto customers.”