Italy's Manufacturing Growth Steady At 6-1/2 Year High

Reuters

Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit said: "The eurozone manufacturing boom kicked into an even higher gear in September, with the PMI rising to a level surpassed only once in the past 17 years".

In line with this trend, export orders also rose in September, although the pace of growth slowed from August's 57-month high.

A reading above 50 indicates growth. This is a little lower than the 56.7 from August, as growth slowed somewhat for September, but results for the sector are still above average, and both domestic and worldwide demand remains strong.

Latest price data showed another round of input cost rises in September.

Growth in the manufacturing sector slowed last month as costs for factories increased sharply, according to a closely watched survey. Weak demand contributed to reduced new business and only a fractional expansion in output.

This combined with a report from law firm Baker McKenzie suggesting that Britain's manufacturers could lose up to £17bn a year in the event of a "hard Brexit" has led to investors fleeing the Pound at the start of the week. Sales have increased to Europe, China, the USA and South America.

"Exports remain a bright spot, however, still rising at one of the strongest rates over the past six-and-a-half years". However, the flipside comes in the form of the increasing cost pressures that manufacturers in the United Kingdom face from Sterling weakness, which in turn increases the cost of imports.

Data compiler IHS Markit said its final purchasing managers' index rose to 56.1 in September from 55.8 in August, up marginally from a preliminary reading of 56.0.

"The weak peso continued to pose a problem for manufacturers", Mr.

Optimism is still relatively strong, with more than 51% of firms expecting production to rise over the coming year, reflecting worldwide expansion efforts, efficiency drives and fresh investment plans.

Neil Lloyd, sales director at law firm, FBC Manby Bowdler, observed: "The strong performance this month should come as no surprise".

Non-metallic mineral products (75.5 points) hit a new record high, reflecting the strength of demand for building-related products.

The latest figures show manufacturing production rose for the 14 consecutive month, but eased back from August's recent high. "This, coupled with price inflation (both commodity and import costs) remains a concern".

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