UK: Manufacturing PMI drops to 55.5 in March vs. 56.7 expected

  • Business activity in UK manufacturing sector lost momentum in early March.
  • GBP/USD continues to push lower toward 1.3150 after the data.

The Manufacturing PMI in the UK declined to 55.5 in early March from 58 in February, the data published jointly by S&P Global and CIPS showed on Thursday. This print missed the market expectation of 56.7.

On a positive note, the Services PMI improved to 61 from 60.5, surpassing analysts’ estimate of 58. 

Commenting on the data, “the UK PMI surveys indicated a sustained robust pace of expansion in March as the further reopening of the economy from COVID-19 containment measures helped offset headwinds from the Ukraine war, Brexit and rising prices,” said Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at S&P Global.

“However, the outlook darkened as concerns over Russia’s invasion exacerbated existing worries over soaring prices, supply chains and slowing economic growth,” Williamson added. “Business expectations are now at their lowest for almost one and a half years, pointing to a marked slowing in the pace of economic growth in coming months.”

Market reaction

GBP/USD stays on the back foot after this report and was last seen losing 0.3% on the day at 1.3165.

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