Britian's manufacturing is rebounding fast

Britain's manufacturing recovery has gathered pace, making an interest rate hike this year more likely.

The industrial recovery is gaining momentum. A survey of the manufacturing sector, the CIPS/Markit report, pointed to quarterly growth of around 2% between April and June, the fastest pace in 20 years.

In June, activity was just shy of November's 34-month high. A sub-index measuring job creation in the sector reached its highest level in over three years. Export orders hit a six-month high.

The manufacturing data implies overall GDP growth of almost 1% per quarter, according to Alan Clarke of Scotiabank, making an interest-rate hike before Christmas more likely.The pound rose to a six-year high ofaround 1.72 US dollars.

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What the commentators said

It hardly helps matters that businesses on the other side of the channel don't sound nearly as optimistic as their British counterparts. There are indications that the weak recovery in Europe, which accounts for about half of UK trade, is petering out, which will undermine exports.


So while manufacturing is now powering ahead, talk of rebalancing the economy away from consumption and towards "George Osborne's feted makers'" is overblown, said Aldrick.

If manufacturing were to grow its share of national income, it would have to grow faster than the overall economy for several years. That implies an annual growth rate of around 4%. The best it could do between 1997 and 2007was 2%.

Still, at least the economy isn't as skewed towards consumption as it was pre-crisis. Ed Conway, also in The Times, pointedout that business investment has been rising for five successive quarters.And households' debt-to-income ratio has fallen to a ten-year low of 140%.Six years after the crisis hit, therepair job is making slow but steady progress.

Andrew Van Sickle

Andrew is the editor of MoneyWeek magazine. He grew up in Vienna and studied at the University of St Andrews, where he gained a first-class MA in geography & international relations.

After graduating he began to contribute to the foreign page of The Week and soon afterwards joined MoneyWeek at its inception in October 2000. He helped Merryn Somerset Webb establish it as Britain’s best-selling financial magazine, contributing to every section of the publication and specialising in macroeconomics and stockmarkets, before going part-time.

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Andrew has been editing MoneyWeek since 2018, and continues to specialise in investment and news in German-speaking countries owing to his fluent command of the language.