LONDON: Britain’s exports leapt to their highest level in more than seven years last month, providing a huge boost for the UK economy ahead of Brexit. Manufacturing output smashed expectations in July to hit 55.1 under the respected Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI, where a reading above 50 means growth. Foreign demand for British manufacturing increased at the fastest pace since April 2010. And job creation in the sector is now near a three year high, showed the index.
UK producers have become highly competitive amid the weaker pound, which has boosted demand for British-made goods and services. Rob Dobson, director at report compiler IHS Markit, said the manufacturing sector had kicked off the third quarter on a “solid footing”. He said: “Continued expansion is also still filtering through to the labour market, with the latest round of manufacturing job creation among the best seen over the past three years.” Experts said the figures suggest economy growth will remain robust in the coming months. The pound lifted around 0.3 per cent against the euro, following the news. Duncan Johnston, UK manufacturing industry leader at Deloitte, said: “August’s strong PMIs suggest that the UK manufacturing sector remains in good health contrary to some expectations. “It is particularly encouraging to see in these figures that jobs are being created in the sector. “Export demand has increased, boosted by the further depreciation of Sterling against the Euro. “This continues to drive expansion in UK manufacturing with today’s data backed up by last week’s CBI quarterly survey.”