British manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) climbed to a 10-month high of 51.7 in February from a reading of 50.0 the prior month, according to a survey published by IHS Markit/CIPS on Mar 2.
A more settled political outlook in the UK contributed to manufacturing output increasing at its fastest pace since April 2019, with growth strengthening in both the consumer and intermediate goods sectors. The downturn in the investment goods sector sustained for another month in February; suggesting business confidence levels have yet to recover sufficiently to support a sustained rise in capital spending.
Rapidly emerging supply chain disruptions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak have resulted in average lead times lengthening to their longest levels since July 2018, while the seasonally adjusted Supplies’ Delivery Times Index climbed to its highest level since its inception 28 years ago.
In an interview last month, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief executive Ralph Speth said the company had two weeks’ worth of parts available and had resorted to flying parts from China to the UK in suitcases. Speth added that they were currently making no automotive sales in China – one of the company’s largest markets.