Factory output gets a strong boost as it heads into 2017 as data from China and Europe shows manufacturing growth at multi-year highs in December. David Pollard reports.Factory output gets off to a strong start for 2017 as data from China and Europe shows manufacturing growth at multi-year highs in December. David Pollard reports.
It's a glowing start to the New Year for global manufacturing. China following the euro zone with forecast-beating numbers. Activity in December close to a six-year high as the heat builds in the world's second biggest economy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "It's been a slow burn, it's finally come to fruition at the end of the year. There's been a lot of government stimulus, they're running a budget deficit in China trying to keep the economy ticking over while they transition to more consumer-led, and domestic demand is strong." A festive feel too in the euro zone. Manufacturing there growing at its fastest pace in over five years. IHS Markit says December is consistent with an annual output jump of around four per cent. The forward-looking new orders were at their highest since 2011. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "New orders continue to increase and that gives us a good idea that going forward, again, these numbers are likely to improve." And like the euro zone, the UK continues to reap the benefits of a relatively cheap currency. Its December reading climbing to a two-and-half year high - where a slide had been predicted. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "It's always been services that have led the UK growth. Manufacturing has fallen behind. We could now be getting to a turning point where manufacturing starts to contribute its fair share again." British manufacturing showing no sign yet of any Brexit damage. But with one caveat ... Higher import costs for manufacturers could be an unwelcome spanner in the works - from a pound struggling under Brexit uncertainty.