UK factory activity “hits four-year high’

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UK manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in more than four years last month, after a much-publicized survey.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by IHS/Markit hit 58.2 in November, the best level in 51 months.

The report said that exports played a “major role” in the expansion.

Separate official data showed that the influx of foreign investment in the UK hit a record last year, boosted by several very large takeover deals.

The office for National statistics recorded an investment of £145.6 billion in 2016, up from £25.3 billion in the year 2015.

The investments were repealed, completed by some of the large deals were in the year 2016, including:
SAB Miller (beer) bought Anheuser-Busch InBev
ARM Holdings (chip designer) bought by Softbank
BG Group (energy company) bought by Royal Dutch Shell

The UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, but economists say that the vote will probably not have much influence on these figures.

Paul Hollingsworth, UK Economist at Capital Economics, pointed out that the major deals have been planned, probably also in the run-up to the vote.

He also said it was impossible to tell whether the influx of investment would still be votes greater than the outlet without the UK the EU.

“I think 2017 could be said of the more challenging year for FDI (foreign direct investment), though, as Brexit is getting closer,” said Mr Hollingsworth.’Mixed’ outlook

The compilers of the purchasing managers ‘ survey, said the results showed UK manufacturing had moved “up a gear” in the last month.

At 58.2, the PMI index strong growth proposes a reading above 50 signals expansion.

“The domestic market, but new export orders mainly from the US and Europe were a big part of this overall picture of success,” said remained, Duncan, Brock, who contributed to the report.

But some economists question whether the UK can maintain factories their current pace.

“The Outlook for the production of mixed appears. House conditions look challenging in spite of February’s healthy jobs,” said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club.