Goods producers increased their output at a rate only slightly below that seen in October. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the rise was due to greater order volumes and robust client demand.
New orders received by manufacturers rose at the second-fastest pace since March in November. Panellists linked the latest upturn to more favourable demand conditions, and noted more orders from domestic and foreign clients. Furthermore, export sales rose at a rate that, though moderate, was the second-fastest in 15 months.
The level of outstanding business at manufacturing firms increased at an accelerated pace that was the most marked since April. Employment levels, meanwhile, grew at the second-strongest rate seen since June 2015 in November.
Average prices charged by manufacturers rose further in November, with the pace of inflation accelerating to the fastest in almost four years. Anecdotal evidence suggested the increase was due to greater cost burdens which were largely passed on to clients. Input price inflation also quickened since October and was steep overall. Survey respondents commonly stated that components costs rose due to logistical delays.
Buying activity at goods producers grew at the strongest pace since February as firms adapted to larger new order volumes. Pre-production inventories also increased amid reports of stockpiling.
Output expectations among goods producers remained robust in November, with positive sentiment improving to its highest since January 2016. A number of panel members linked greater optimism to larger client bases and planned expansion into new markets.