United Kingdom manufacturing in healthy shape despite election uncertainty


"On this basis, the sector should have sufficient momentum to see it through the uncertainty generated by the current unexpected general election and into the start of Brexit negotiations", IHS Markit economist Rob Dobson said.

A pick-up in global trade early in the year has been driven by surging import demand from emerging markets, which reported stronger activity and are seeing their currencies appreciate, and by corresponding strong exports.

Output in Malaysian manufacturing was reported to have fallen for the first time in four months in May.

China stocks started the month on a bearish note on Thursday after a private business survey showed manufacturing activity unexpectedly contracted in May, fuelling worries that the economy may be cooling more rapidly than expected.

While the pace of expansion in new export orders moderated in May, it was still substantial and much faster than the series average, it said.

"The forward-looking elements of the latest survey are reassuring for the construction sector, notably the acceleration in new business growth to its strongest so far this year".

Friday's report showed housebuilding rising at the fastest rate since December 2015, while commercial construction, such as shops and offices, rose by the most since March previous year. Readings below 50 denote contractions in activity. Growth rates for output, new orders, exports and jobs all strengthened, and the backlogs index highlighted strains on capacity. Aw said this indicates that the domestic market continued to be the main engine of manufacturing growth.

The Eurozone's final factory PMI figure for May stood at 57.0, up from 56.7 in April and its highest level since April 2011. The index has been above 50 for every month since November 2013. It ticked higher to 6.9 percent in the latest quarter thanks to government spending and a credit-fueled real estate boom.

The survey's forward-looking measures suggested that the manufacturing sector could maintain its relatively solid pace of expansion.

"On the price front, both input costs and output charges rose more slowly in May".

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