United Kingdom: Composite PMI deteriorates in April
The S&P Global/CIPS Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 57.6 in April, down from March’s 60.9. As a result, the index indicated a slower improvement in private-sector output relative to the previous month. Record inflationary pressures and the war in Ukraine dampened momentum in the month, with new orders and employment growth sliding and exports contracting. Finally, business sentiment was the lowest since late-2020.
Looking at individual sectors, the Services PMI decreased to 58.3 in April (March: 62.6). In contrast, the Manufacturing PMI clocked in at 55.3 in April, up from March’s 55.2, as efforts to work through backlogs and fewer supplier delays aided output.
Looking forward, the sharp slowdown in new orders in the private sector as a whole—which was more pronounced than the slowdown in current business activity—bodes poorly for business activity in the months ahead. Moreover, price pressures are likely to intensify further in the short run, which will likely also hamper momentum.
Regarding the near-term outlook, Chris Williamson, chief business economist at S&P Global, commented:
“Although the current pace of growth remains relatively robust, firms are taking a more cautious approach to hiring and spending as demands cools and the outlook becomes gloomier, to suggest that the slowdown in the economy has further to run.”