Softer new business growth was the main negative influence on the headline PMI in October, as the latest rise in new orders was much weaker than in September and the slowest for nine months. A number of survey respondents commented on more cautious spending patterns among clients, especially in relation to export sales. October data pointed to only a moderate expansion of new orders from abroad, with the pace of growth easing sharply to a three-month low.
In line with softer new business gains, manufacturing output growth also slowed in October. The latest increase in production volumes was the weakest since March. Moreover, the rate of output growth has now moderated for two months in a row, which represents the first back-to-back slowdown since May 2013.
October data pointed to resilient manufacturing payrolls trends, despite a continued moderation in both output and new business growth. The rate of job creation was little-changed from September’s two-and-a-half year high and much sharper than the average seen since the survey began in May 2007.