Economic activity in the West Midlands continues to slow

Latest economic output data suggest that the regional economy continues to slow down.

The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) is based on surveys undertaken by Markit Economics on behalf of the Royal Bank of Scotland. It is an important indicator of current market conditions.

The index is derived such that a level of 50 signals no change since the previous month, above 50 signals an increase (or improvement) and below 50 a decrease (or contraction). The greater the divergence from 50, the greater the rate of change signalled.

The latest data from the PMI West Midlands report (pdf, 232kb) signalled the fastest decline in business activity in the region in almost seven years in June, as new business fell for the eighth month running.

  • Third monthly fall in output, the fastest since August 2001. Manufacturing output fell more quickly in June, service activity continued to rise.
  • Continuing falls in new orders with rate of decline hastening, due to deteriorating economic conditions and weak consumer confidence.
  • Input prices rising faster than previous months, with oil based products, metals, energy and utilities contributing to input cost inflation.
  • These input inflationary pressures have led firms to raise output prices. The variation in input to output prices at their widest. Firms in Region reported to be putting up output prices the fastest.
  • Lower volumes of new orders led to clearing of outstanding orders and a decline in the level of employment.

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