UK Manufacturing Growth Slows Unexpectedly In April: Markit

British manufacturing sector growth eased unexpectedly in April, as intermediate goods sector fell back in to contraction, survey figures from Markit Economics showed Friday.

The Markit/Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Purchasing Mangers' Index, or PMI, fell to 51.9 in April from 54.0 in March, which was revised down from 54.4. Economists had expected the index to rise to 54.6.

However, any reading above above 50 indicates expansion in the sector. The PMI remained above neutral 50.0 mark for the twenty-fifth consecutive month in April.

Manufacturing output increased at a slower pace in April, in line with weaker growth of incoming new business.

Growth of output and new orders in the consumer goods sector was substantial in April. In contrast, the intermediate goods sector saw output and new orders fall back into contraction.

Employment level in the manufacturing sector increased for the twenty-fourth successive month in April, with modest job creation signalled in both the consumer and investment goods sectors.

On the price front, input prices dropped for the eighth consecutive month in April, due to the euro-sterling exchange rate and higher costs for commodities, oil by-products and some food raw materials.

Selling prices fell for the fourth straight month in April, with the rate of deflation the steepest since September 2009.

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