By Jonathan Davies

The UK manufacturing sector got off to a strong start in 2015, according to a closely watched survey.

The Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53 in January, up from 52.7 in December. Any figure above 50 indicates growth.

Falling oil prices are again the source of improvements, with cheaper prices bringing down costs of producers which has improved output. Markit said it was just the second time in five years that producers have been able to cut their costs.

The figures suggest that the sector’s output is growing by 0.2%, compared with 0.1% in the final quarter of 2014.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, said the growth of the sector would “provide little meaningful boost” to the overall economy in the first quarter.

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