LONDON – Activity in the United Kingdom’s manufacturing sector slowed in December, having posted the fastest growth in over four years the previous month, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.
Financial information firm IHS Markit Ltd. said its purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing industry fell to 56.3 in December, down from 58.2 a month earlier.
The 50-point line separates expansion from contraction in activity.
The December figure was below the expectations of analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal, who forecast a reading of 57.9.
While the growth of output and new orders moderated in the final month of the year, rates of expansion remained comfortably above long-term trend rates, said Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit.
Input and output inflation also slowed, signaling that the recent surge in price growth – spurred by the pound’s collapse in the wake of the Brexit vote – is beginning to abate.