Vietnam's manufacturing PMI remains high in 2018

Vietnam's manufacturing PMI remains high in 2018”

Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit (Stuttgart: A1139A - news), which compiles the survey, said: "December saw the UK PMI rise to a six-month high, following short-term boosts to inventory holdings and inflows of new business as companies stepped up their preparations for a potentially disruptive Brexit".

In an early warning sign that GDP growth is set to have nearly stalled in the last three months of 2018, the purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed that subdued demand from cash-strapped consumers also acted as a brake on sales.

"The latest United Kingdom services PMI provides further evidence that the economy has lost most, if not all, of the momentum it had last summer", ING economist James Smith said.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club, said manufacturing weakness seen during 2018 reaffirmed its view that GDP growth is likely to have slowed to 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter, from 0.6% in the third quarter. The same was true for new orders, where a marked expansion was recorded and extended the current sequence of growth to 37 months.

Financial information company Markit said that the increase in buying was due to manufacturers stockpiling parts and finished goods ahead of Brexit, as opposed to it indicating increasing confidence.

Viet Nam's PMI was 53.8 in December, signalling solid improvement in the health of the Vietnamese manufacturing sector. This was highlighted by a drop in backlogs of work at service providers for the third month running, which is the longest period of decline since the summer of 2016.

The BoE figures showed the annual growth rate in unsecured consumer lending had slowed to 7.1 percent in November from 7.4 percent in October, the smallest increase since March 2015.

"The survey also revealed signs of slower demand growth from customers, as well as rising concerns over the impact of tariffs", said Chris Williamson. The services PMI published Friday showed that wages are increasing, pushing up costs for firms.

Input prices continued to rise in December, albeit at a weaker pace than in the past few months. Markets have priced out any increase in the next 12 months, even as BOE Mark Carney warned that a disorderly exit from the European Union may force the bank to raise rates to contain inflation. The balance of firms forecasting an expansion in their output volumes was the least positive seen since February 2016. There were reports that lower prices for oil-related inputs had helped to moderate the overall rate of cost inflation in December.

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