UK manufacturing growth steadies in October

Growth in the UK manufacturing sector has started to slow down in October, according to new purchasing managers' index (PMI) data from Markit.

Jeremy Cook, chief economist at World First, says that a natural slowing was widely expected - "There is only so much month-on-month improvement that can be made by an industry always searching for investment and markets to sell their wares."

The headline indicator of manufacturing sector growth has dropped from 56.7 to 56, while analysts had expected a figure of 56.4. Any number above 50 implies an expansion in the sector, and the higher the number, the faster the expansion.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at Markit, says that the number is still "close to August's two-and-a-half year high" and that the "strength of growth seen in manufacturing means the sector will still provide a major boost to the economy in October".