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|MANUFACTURING ACTIVITY Activity in the manufacturing sector bounced back from a slowdown in June after bisinesses reported a streling inspired surge in exprots. The purchasing managers index for manufacturing, one of the best and most closley watched indecators of growth in the sector, rose to 55.1 in July, up from 54.2 in June. Any figure above 50 indecates expantion.
Businesses reported that foreign demand for their goods had risen at the second strongest rate in the PMI surveys history, beaten only by that recored in April 2010. Increased demand came from North America, Europe, Asis-Pacific and the Middle East, as the 12% fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote makes UK-made goods more attractive overseas.
COMPANIES IN DISTRESS The number of companies in significant financial distress has jumped by 25% as businesses struggle with a slowdown in consumer spending and price increases, a survey shows. Begbies Traynors Red Flag report found that 329,834 companies were feeling the strain in the second quarter, up from 263,517 over the same period.
FACTORY OVERDRIVE Factories are increasing production at the fastest rate in 22 years, according to a closely watched survey that suggests manufacturing may provide a boost for the economy as the dominant services sector begins to slow. A CBI survey in July showed manufacturers were recording the highest growth in output since the mid 1990s, especially among food and drink manufacturers, prompting the strongest hiring spree in three years. "The survey adds to the evidence that the recent weakness in manufacturing will soon be reversed," Andrew Wishart at Capital Economics, said,"An improvement in the sectors fortunes should help to offset a slowdown in consumer services over the rest of the year.
EXPORT BOOM Britains factories are experiencing their strongest performance in nearly three decades as the fall in the pound gives exporters an advantage abroad. The CBI said that order books in June had climbed to their highest level since August 1988, while export demand hit a 22 year high, raising hopes of manufacturing boom to offset slower consumer spending.
HOUSING MARKET STALLS Figures jointly provided by the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry show that UK house prices rose by 4.1% in the year to March to an average of £216,000. This was the slowest growth since October 2013 and continues a general slowdown that began last year.
DOMINANT SERVICES Britains economy is gathering speed again after a lackluster first quarter following a pick-up in activity in the UKs dominant services sector in April. Economists said the closely watched survey pointed to growth of 0.6% in the three months to June if current trends persist, which would double the disappointing 0.3% expansion in the first quarter of the year. The purchasing managers index for the services sector, which accounts for four fifths of GDP, defied predictions to jump to a four-month high of 55.8 in April, above all forecasts. Any reading above 50 indicates growth.
FALL IN JOBSEEKERS The number of candidates available for jobs has hit a 16 month low, prompting fears that Brexit has triggered a skills shortage in areas ranging from IT to engineering to nursing.There was the steepest fall in availability for permanent and temporary roles in April since December 2015, according to a report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. Kevin Green, chief executive , said that weakness in the pound after last years referendum and concerns over future immigration arrangements were making people reluctant to move.
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