Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

Muted U.K. PMI Rebound Indicates Tepid Economic Growth At Start Of Second Quarter

Markit profile picture


  • "All-sector" PMI shows muted rebound in April, index at third-lowest since EU referendum.
  • Employment growth slows as businesses cite weaker demand growth and uncertain outlook.
  • Price pressures cool.

Business activity picked up only modestly in April after being disrupted by heavy snowfall in March, according to the latest PMI data, indicating that the rate of economic growth remained subdued at the start of the second quarter.

The April survey also brought signs that jobs growth has slowed and inflationary pressures have eased, suggesting that policymakers will back away from any imminent hiking of interest rates. Any further slowing will also raise questions as to whether the November rate hike may have been ill-timed.

Muted rebound from snow-hit March

The expansion signalled by the April IHS Markit/CIPS PMI surveys was the third-weakest since the immediate fall-out from the 2016 Brexit vote. At 53.2, the "all-sector" output index failed to recover the ground lost in March, when the PMI sank to 51.9 from 54.2 in February, underscoring how the economy has slowed since late last year.

While anecdotal evidence collected from surveyed companies indicated that the weak PMI numbers in March were in part attributable to business being disrupted by heavy snowfall, no such adverse factors were reported in April. The surveys have instead indicated that sales, investment and hiring are being hit by uncertainty about the economic outlook as well as sluggish domestic demand, notably among consumers.

The latest index reading is historically consistent with the economy growing at a quarterly rate of around 0.2% at the start of the second quarter.

The sluggish start to the second quarter comes after disappointing first quarter economic growth, initially estimated by the Office for National Statistics at just 0.1%. The PMI had indicated an expansion of 0.3%.

The strongest rebound was seen in the construction sector, which saw the largest monthly output rise since November after a sharp decline in March. Services growth also accelerated but, after March's low, was the second-weakest seen for over

This article was written by

Markit profile picture
IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions. Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

Recommended For You


Disagree with this article? Submit your own. To report a factual error in this article, . Your feedback matters to us!
To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.