North West firms enjoy fastest surge in orders in three years – but input prices also rise

Lloyds Bank PMI report tracking business activity registered 58.5 in November, which signalled the greatest expansion recorded out of all 12 monitored UK regions

Business output was up in the North West in November, according to Lloyds

 

Business activity in the North West grew at the fastest pace in more than three years during November, as firms experienced a rise in new orders that was quicker than the UK average.

The latest Lloyds Bank PMI report tracking business activity registered 58.5 in November, which signalled the greatest expansion recorded out of all 12 monitored UK regions, and was up from October’s reading of 57.9.

A reading above 50 shows growth in the total value of goods and services produced, whereas a reading below indicates decline. 

The rise in new orders resulted in employment continuing to grow as firms built capacity to meet demand. The pace of job creation was the fastest experienced in the region for three months.

Hpwever, firms faced another rise in input costs, which include raw materials, salaries, rents and other overheads. Businesses passed part of this increase in input costs on to customers in the form of higher selling prices.

Martyn Kendrick, regional director for the North West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said: “Business is booming in the North West private sector, with the rate of business activity growth among the sharpest recorded since August 2014. North West firms are building up a strong momentum and continue to attract solid demand too.

While it looks as if the region will end the year on a high, strong input price inflation rising raw material costs are is continuing to pose a slight cause for concern; however, robust client demand should partially offset cost pressures for firms through higher charges.”

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