UK Factory PMI Surges to 16-Month High, Exports Recover

British factory activity unexpectedly surged to a 16-month high in October helped by a recovery in export orders, a survey showed on Monday, suggesting economic growth could pick up rapidly in the last three months of the year.

The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) jumped to 55.5 in October from 51.8 in September. That was well above even the highest forecast of 52.5 in a Reuters poll.

The survey indicated Britain’s economy could grow twice as fast in the last three months of the year as it did in the third quarter, data compiler Markit said, although many economists will wait for Wednesday’s survey of the much bigger services sector to get a fuller picture of the pace of recovery.

“The survey is consistent with a quarterly rate of growth of around 1 percent, a vast improvement on what we have seen in recent months,” Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compilers Markit, said.

“The revival of overseas sales is a particularly encouraging aspect of the latest survey, helping to dispel fears that global demand is slumping and boding well for the outlook.”

Concerns about an economic slowdown in China and other emerging markets have cast a shadow over the global economy in recent months. In response, investors pushed back their expectations of when major central banks are likely to start raising rock-bottom interest rates.

But Monday’s survey showed new export orders increased to their highest level since August 2014.


Craig Erlam
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the BBC and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, FOX Business and BNN. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.