United Kingdom manufacturing has a steady growth in March, reveals survey

China's Manufacturing Growth Slows to Four-Month Low

The Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 55.1 in the month, above the 50 point that separates contraction from expansion and up slightly from the 55 reading registered in February. That said, the rate of inflation was the slowest recorded for four months and moderate overall. This was 0.9 percent less than the 1.3 percent growth in the last 3 months of past year.

But January's reading was also revised lower and for the first quarter as a whole, the PMI was its lowest in a year, though above its average since Britain exited recession in the third quarter of 2009 following the financial crisis.

The service sector in China continued to expand in March, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from Caixin revealed on Wednesday with a services PMI score of 52.3.

Sterling and British government bonds were little moved by the figures.

"Indeed, amid a slower expected pace of recovery in consumer spending, IHS Markit marginally downgraded its real GDP forecast to 7.3 per cent for fiscal year 2017-2018", Dodhia said.

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Though new export orders rose during March, Dodhia said, "On a negative note, further advances in trade disputes could potentially weigh on sales to global clients".

The pound has gained more than 4pc against the United States dollar since the end of 2017.

Most economists polled by Reuters think the central bank will raise interest rates to a post-financial crisis high of 0.75pc in May.

"Price pressures subsequently remained elevated in March, despite easing since the previous month, as vendors take advantage of strong demand conditions and manufactures seek to protect margins by raising their own charges", Paul Smith, Director at IHS Markit, said.

PMIs covering the construction and services sectors are due on Wednesday and Thursday.

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