LONDON (Xinhua) – British manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI), a gauge of the industry activities, slipped to 52.5 in December 2014 from the revised 53.3 in November 2014, recording its three-month lowest reading, said Markit Economics Limited on Friday.
The data was below the market estimates consensus of 53.6. A figure above 50 suggests that the sector is growing.
December saw rates of expansion in production and new orders ease to the second-slowest for over one-and-a-half years, along with price pressures remained subdued, said the London-based survey compiler.
Despite slowing in December, the unbroken sequences of expansion in manufacturing production and new orders both extended to 22 months, noted Markit.
The average PMI reading in the fourth quarter of 2014 was 53.0, slightly below that in the prior quarter and recorded the weakest growth outcome in a year-and-a-half, data also showed.
Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at Markit, commented the main weak spot of the sector remains exports, with overseas new order inflows stagnating amid weaker economic growth in key markets and the ongoing lethargy of the euro area.
Meanwhile, “waning inflationary pressures in industry will therefore continue to provide some leeway for the Bank of England to hold off from raising rates if slower global growth persists,” he added.