Faster rates of manufacturing production and new order growth were recorded in October. This helped to boost employment numbers, with the rate of job creation the sharpest since June 2015. There were also positive developments in terms of export sales. Manufacturers recorded the most marked increase in new work from abroad for 14 months.
Stronger demand for inputs and continued hurricane-related disruption led to intense pressure on supply chains in October. The latest lengthening of average lead-times among vendors was the greatest since that recorded after heavy snowfall in February 2014.
October data pointed to another sharp rise in input costs, although the rate of inflation eased from September’s near five-year peak. Meanwhile, factory gate charges increased at only a modest pace.