Manufacturing employment rose at fastest pace since February 1995, supported by robust output growth, according to the Markit/CIPS Purchasing Manager’s Index for June.
At 57.5, the PMI was close to highs seen in April and May, however, while domestic market held up well in June, growth in new exports downshifted sharply.
David Noble, chief executive officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: “It’s been a tense month for the UK manufacturing sector. The sector maintained strong momentum in June but looming headwinds are causing some insecurity. All eyes will be peeled to see if the sector can carry forward this strong pace in the second half of the year.
“We’re already starting to see the turbulent Eurozone make its mark which is causing unease given that export orders arguably led the sector out of the recession. Further uncertainty has been reflected with cautious suppliers unwilling to restock despite demand outpacing the supply of materials, creating a seller’s market. In addition, although we’ve seen employment levels peak again, this is very much a lagging indicator and it’s too early to say if this will be maintainable.
“The only thing clear at the moment is that manufacturers will certainly have to work hard to outstrip competition and secure future business wins if this pace of recovery continues and provides much-needed stability.”