Rate of recovery in East starts to slow
THE East of England’s economy continued to grow during July, although new order growth hit a five-month low, according to new figures.
The latest East of England PMI survey recorded the 15th consecutive monthly increase in overall activity, although the recent recovery in employment levels also showed signs of weakening while input costs rose sharply.
The survey’s Business Activity Index, which measures the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors, registered 55.9 in July.
This was down from 58.5 in June but, with any figure over 50 representing growth, it maintains an unbroken record of improvement stretching back to May last year.
Both manufacturers and service providers saw an improvement, with the former showing the strongest growth, and the overall increase in activity in the region remained faster than the average seen across the UK economy as a whole.
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The East of England data forms part of a series of regional surveys derived from the national PMI survey produced by Markit for the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
New business growth in the East slowed in July, but remained strong, also extending the current sequence of expansion to 15 months.
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However, employment growth was only marginal in July, slowing to the weakest in the current five-month period of expansion. Input cost inflation remained substantial in July, despite easing for the third month running.