United Kingdom manufacturing 'shifted up a gear' in November

Asian manufacturing buoyed by tech as focus shifts to regional rate hikes

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Solid domestic demand propped up the Philippines' manufacturing sector in November, picking up to the highest level so far this year, the latest reading of the Nikkei Philippines Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index shows. It was still lower compared to the 56.3 posted a year earlier. Readings above 50 signal an expansion while readings below 50 signal a contraction.

While the forward-looking measure of new orders rose to 53.9 from 53.2, it was still softer than the strong performance seen in the first half of the year as the broader economy accelerated.

The latest rise in new orders was one of the strongest in the survey's history, while growth in new export orders firmed to the sharpest in nearly three years.

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Anecdotal evidence suggested that strong economic conditions, promotional activities and greater client demand had continued to sustain order book growth. Nonetheless, data indicated that client demand was relatively subdued across both the domestic and external markets, as new export sales also rose modestly. Of real note was a surge in demand for United Kingdom investment goods, such as plant and machinery, with new orders for these products rising to the greatest extent in over two decades.

Official figures on British manufacturing, which painted a gloomier view than the PMI surveys for much of this year, have also now started to show improvement.

Factories also stepped up purchasing activity to meet current and future demand, with the rise in buying levels the highest since December previous year.

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A broadening of price pressures represented a downside in the latest PMI, with factories facing extra costs from supply chain bottlenecks, overtaking sterling's weakness as the main driver of price increases.

Manufacturing firms were able to cover at least a portion of these cost pressures by upping output prices, as they have for 18 successive months.

"A further rise in global raw material costs, combined with a weak peso, will generate an unwelcome tightening of businesses' profit margins", IHS Markit economist Bernard Aw said.

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