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News - 5 April 2012

Economic Optimism Grows with Manufacturing Uplift.

The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 52.1 in March, its highest level since May, driven by an increase in new orders.

The PMI has been above 50, the level separating expansion from contraction, since December, and the figures for March indicated a 0.3% growth in manufacturing output in the first quarter of the year.

But while there was a pick-up in new orders, March output was also boosted by clearing backlogs of existing work.

Markit said that conditions in the sector remained tough, with firms facing high oil and metal prices, but that both domestic and overseas demand had improved.
New orders rose at their quickest pace for a year in March, the data showed.
In another encouraging sign, the PMI for February was also revised upwards to 51.5 from a previously-stated 51.2.
The manufacturing survey indicated output growth of 0.3% in the first quarter of 2012 after a 0.7% decline in the fourth quarter of last year.
Business confidence about the UK economy also surged according to other surveys, indicating that eurozone fears have eased and the nation's firms expect conditions to improve.

A monthly report by Lloyds Bank found that confidence reached a nine-month high in March, with more than half the businesses polled feeling positive about the nation's outlook for the first time since June.

Meanwhile optimism has risen at the fastest rate in nearly five years among company finance directors according to a survey by Deloitte.

Lavinia Newman of ABDS said that the report also indicated:

 “That manufacturers kept employment levels steady overall after reporting moderate staffing increases in February, with the employment index falling by more than a point in March.”

If you need any help and advice on Management Accounts, Budgets and Cash Flow Forecasts, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar NOW to discuss how ABDS can help in all your financial planning.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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