United Kingdom factory activity slows slightly in October

On Tuesday, the Markit/CIPS survey on manufacturing for October showed it remained on a "firm footing" during the month.

Output, new orders and new export business all rose at some of the fastest rates achieved over the past three years, building on the solid increases in quarter three and underpinning the steepest jobs growth since mid-2011.

The New Orders Index registered 52.1, a decrease of 3 points from the September reading of 55.1.

The Nikkei ASEAN Manufacturing PMI recorded 49.2 in October, down from 50.5 in September, placing the headline index at the lowest in 11 months.

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Suppliers seemed to have passed on higher imported raw material prices as input prices have the second-fastest increase rate since July 2011 after the pound's steep drop against the Euro and the U.S. dollar. An output price index was at a 16-month high of 50.8, up from 49.9 and its first time above 50 since August a year ago.

The output in October has risen for the tenth straight month and at the quickest rate in almost four years.

The industry is particularly concerned by last month's further decline in new orders from both the domestic and global markets. "Data indicated that although foreign orders contributed to the upturn in total new work, the rate of growth in new business from overseas eased to a three-month low", said the survey. October has been the first time that the construction sector has shown signs of growth in four months.

Experts at Capital Economics said it pointed to a sharp rise in consumer prices to come though some companies could absorb the higher costs through a squeeze on profits.

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Purchase price inflation rose to a 69-month peak and to its fourth highest since the survey began in 1992.

"Growth in new export orders was only slight as panellists reported that sterling weakness made securing new work in the United Kingdom more hard", O'Sullivan said.

In particular, China's October factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in over two years.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5% in its first estimate of third-quarter growth, down slightly from 0.7% in the second quarter, with e conomists pencilling in a steeper fall to 0.3%.

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