UK Manufacturing PMI Rises to 53.3 for August

The resurgence was driven by a rebound in manufacturing output and incoming orders, with new business seeing an upturn in the United Kingdom and overseas. Sterling rose nearly 1% to hit a one-month high of 0.8403 against the euro.

"Although the PMI edged down slightly since July, today's survey results highlight that Germany's goods-producing sector remains generally in good shape", Markit economist Oliver Kolodseike said. "The U.S. downturn also jars with the evidence of an improvement in global manufacturing, particularly in China".

"The August PMI data indicate a solid rebound in the performance of the United Kingdom manufacturing sector from the steep downturn that followed the European Union referendum".

That suggests that a weak global economy, which had cut into US factories' export sales, is fading as a headwind for USA manufacturers. There was also an inflow of new export orders on the back of a cheaper currency.

A measure of employment fell to 48.3, its second straight month of decline.

The numbers are obviously good news for those anxious about the state of the British economy in the post-referendum landscape, but should be taken with a pinch of salt given the boost to exports given by the weak pound, and the fact that manufacturing accounts for just under 10% of UK GDP. And a gauge of production plunged to the lowest level in four years.

Increase in US home prices slightly less than forecast
Economists said this supported views by Federal Reserve officials that the jobs market was either at or near full employment. According to Blerina Uruci of Barclays Research, the higher reading suggests consumer spending will be on the upswing.

Global stock markets were in wait-and-see mode on Thursday, anticipating Friday's release of a U.S. jobs data which if strong could encourage an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Analysts had expected no change to the reading. Americans are more confident in the economy, according to the Conference Board, and are spending more.

Other reports on manufacturing have been mostly positive.

The consensus of economists polled by Reuters last month showed inflation looks set to rise to 2.4 percent around this time next year, from 0.6 percent this July. Order backlogs also continued to increase at the fastest pace since February 2014. A category of orders that excludes volatile items such as aircraft and tracks business investment rose by the most in six months.

The boost to jobs came from small and medium-sized manufacturers, while bigger firms trimmed their workforces.

"With exchange rates supporting more orders overseas, the counter-effect of a lower pound meant that purchasing costs were higher, which was reported by 44% of procurement managers". It surveys about 300 manufacturers every month.

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