United Kingdom: Composite PMI falls in May but remains in expansionary territory
The S&P Global/CIPS Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 53.9 in May from April’s 54.9. Consequently, the index remained above the 50.0 no-change mark, pointing to a continued, albeit moderating, improvement in private sector operating conditions from the previous month.
The Manufacturing PMI clocked in at 46.9 in May, down from April’s 47.8. The services PMI activity index fell to 55.1 in May (April: 55.9).
Across the private sector as a whole, new work inflows slowed, job creation was marginal and input price pressures eased to an over two-year low. The discrepancy between sectors was stark. Among manufacturing firms, output fell for the third straight month amid subdued orders and destocking, while exports dropped at the sharpest pace in four months. In contrast, services firms saw higher exports and particularly strong demand for consumer services.
Dr John Glen, CIPS chief economist, said:
“The dominant UK service sector […] fared better than the manufacturing sector. The severe pressures of Brexit resulted in a drop in export orders for the fourth month in a row for producers as competition in markets outside the UK intensified. Service providers in stark contrast had a solid month because consumers chose experiences above goods and spent more on hospitality, travel and eating out.”