UK manufacturing sector gradually expanding

The manufacturing sector has expanded for two months in a row

UK manufacturing has shown positive signs early in 2013 according to the latest Purchasing Managers' Index figures, it was revealed.

Activity across the important sector edged higher in January despite a fall in export orders, with the headline figure at 50.8. Any figure above 50 indicates an expansion.

The jobs market also showed stability through the month, information services provider Markit said.

'Reasonable growth' in demand was recorded across the sector, whilst orders for consumer goods were said to be particularly strong. This offset export orders, which were hit by continuing uncertainty across the Eurozone.

The sector's improving performances could help prevent the UK from slipping into a historic triple-dip recession, defined as a period during which there are three recessionary slumps.

Skipton Business Finance's Sales & Marketing Director, Andy Grantham, felt that manufacturers were showing impressive resilience during a tricky economc period: "This sector is often hit hard by the rising price of energy and raw materials, so, on the back of this, it is certainly positive news to see it growing at the start of the year".

"Markets outside of Europe are likely to drive more and more business for manufacturers, which will hopefully aid business conditions further in the sector during the year and consequently help manufacturers increase sales", he concluded.