UK manufacturing and services saw their best month for more than a year in January, a survey has suggested.
The UK composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which includes the two sectors. rose to a 16-month high of 52.4, up from 49.3 in December.
IHS Markit, which compiled the survey, said demand was growing in the wake of the general election in December. The figures are the last economic data to be released before Bank of England policymakers meet next week. Analysts said they made an interest rate cut less likely.
The IHS Markit/CIPS PMI for services showed the sector returning to growth for the first time since August 2019, rising to 52.9 from the previous month’s 50.0. Any score above 50 indicates expansion.
Manufacturing continued to contract, but at a slower pace. Its PMI reading rose to 49.8 from December’s 47.5.
The Manufacturing Assembly Network (MAN), a collaboration of eight West Midlands-based sub-contract manufacturers and an engineering design agency, has just secured a new order as a result of joint working, taking its combined efforts to over £75m of sales generated since it was formed.
A significant focus is now on increasing this number to £100m according to Adam Cunningham, CEO of Muller Holdings and the new Chairman of MAN, taking over from Brandauer’s Rowan Crozier earlier this year.
An Oldham-based structural engineering consultancy is working with a modular steel car-park manufacturer to increase temporary spaces at busy UK sites, including Manchester Airport.
Edge Structural Design is supporting Another Level Car Parks, also based in Oldham, in designing portable steel modules consisting of metal decking, legs, ramps, staircases and bracing.
The temporary, versatile system is used at locations including hospitals, railway stations, supermarkets and construction sites. Examples include Manchester Airport, Shenfield railway station in Essex, a construction site near Cumbria’s Sellafield plant, a Bidvest logistics centre in Oldham, an Amazon fulfilment warehouse in Warrington, and a residential development in London’s Canary Wharf. In total, just over 300 steel modules have been erected to almost double the number of spaces on the existing car park footprint.