Downturn in West Midlands economy continues - but outlook improves

Monday, January 13, 2020

The latest Natwest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report for the West Midlands was published today and it shows business activity across the region fell for the second consecutive month in December.

The West Midlands saw private sector business activity fall for the second month running in December, the latest PMI data from NatWest showed, matching the trend seen across the UK as a whole. However, the outlook is improving as the West Midlands posted a rise in new orders for the first time in four months and local firms reported stronger optimism towards future output.

The headline West Midlands Business Activity Index – a seasonally adjusted index that measures changes in the combined output of the region’s manufacturing and service sectors – registered 49.3 in December, little-changed from November's 49.4 and matching the UK-wide reading. It marked a slight drop in business activity that was broadly in line with the trend seen during 2019.

Other Key Findings of the report are:

  • Marginal rise in new orders ends three months of decline
  • Output expectations reach seven month high
  • Sustained reduction in backlogs of work
  • Employment stable in December
  • Marginal rise in average output prices
  • Modest improvement in export conditions

You can download the full report from Natwest Business Hub

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