The latest NCB Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report shows that the positive trends we have noted for some time have continued into November. The seasonally-adjusted headline index came in at 52.4, an improvement on the 52.1, 51.8 and 50.9 seen in the three preceding months respectively. Importantly, the headline index points to a ninth successive month of improvement.
On closer examination of the data we note that New Export Orders (52.1) are in positive territory for a second month in a row. This has been supported by new product launches and order wins from the likes of China, the US and the UK during the month. New Orders (51.9) has now grown for 10 months in a row, and this has helped Employment (53.5) levels rise in each of the past nine months.
One headwind for firms is the mismatch between input prices (59.0), which are experiencing upward pressure from energy costs, and Output Prices (49.7), which slipped back into negative territory after improving in the previous two months.
Philip O’Sullivan, Chief Economist, NCB Stockbrokers Limited/