Good news for contractors in the manufacturing sector

The latest monthly IHS Markit/CIPS PMI survey was published at the end of June, and this shows that British manufacturers are reporting further growth in production and in new order volumes – which leads to new opportunities for limited company contractors working in manufacturing and related industries.

Positive index ratings

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) is compiled by HIS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) – this month it awarded the sector an index rating of 54.3. While slightly lower than the previous month, this is still good news, any anything over 50 is considered to be growth during that month. As June marked the quarter end, the index also awards a rating for the quarter, and in this case, it was 55.9 for the period April-June, a very healthy figure indeed.

Commenting on these new figures, CIPS’ Director of Customer Relationships Duncan Brock said, "For now, optimism remains relatively high, job creation solid across corporates and SMEs and additional efforts are being made to improve efficiencies across the sector."

Markit’s Senior Economist Rob Dobson added, "The UK manufacturing sector largely weathered the uncertainty of a general election and start of formal Brexit negotiations to eke out further output growth at the end of the second quarter."

Employment growth in the sector

Employment in the manufacturing sector has increased for the 11th consecutive month in June, which is a pleasing ongoing trend and one which should certainly bring more new openings for contractors into the industry. Production and foreign demand also increased in the same timeframe, while output and new orders are still rising across all sectors - but at lower rates than previously reported.

It was good to see that 48% of managers in the manufacturing sector said they are optimistic their output will increase over the coming year. Meanwhile, manufacturing businesses are retaining a very optimistic outlook, with only 7% of those surveyed saying they anticipate ‘output decline’. This clearly confident viewpoint is due to new product launches, planned investment spending and the level of new business growth which is expected. 

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