July 28, 2020
w/c 27 July 2020: To help you navigate the ‘new normal’, we are monitoring and highlighting the top stories in the manufacturing and trade sector across the world. Watch this space to stay informed and inspired!
- Production in the UK manufacturing industry grew in June as the country eased its coronavirus lockdown measures. Data by IHS Markit shows that the UK's purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 1 in June compared to 40.7 in May. Readings above 50.0 indicate growth.
- However, despite growth in manufacturing activities, industry experts have warned that the industry could face massive job losses as the government's job support scheme for businesses affected by the pandemic is expected to end in October. Furthermore, employment in the sector fell significantly in June, with "reports of redundancies, cost control measures, workforce restructuring and the non-replacement of leavers."
- PPMA reports that the UK food and beverage sector was slow at adopting robot automation in the past, “largely due to short-term approach to investments [and] historical availability of labour and the flexibility human workers provide. Today there is a growing need to increase levels of automation/robot adoption due to labour shortages (Eastern European workers returning home due to Brexit, plus an ageing workforce:130,000 new recruits needed by 2024), increasing labour costs [and] the need to increase productivity. And now the added challenge of dealing with the issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Also, data by Refinitiv shows a contraction in production activities in Switzerland's manufacturing industry, with the PMI dropping to 9 in June from 42.1 in May.
- Data from the Institute for Supply Management shows that manufacturing activities in the United States picked up in June, hitting the highest level since April 2019. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index climbed to 6 in June from 43.1 in May. New orders rose to 56.4 from 31.8, while the manufacturing employment index rose to 42.1 from 32.1. However, export orders remained down.
- Survey data from the Istanbul Chamber of Industry shows that manufacturing activities in Turkey rebounded in June, following months of low output due to lockdown measures enforced to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The country's purchasing managers' index (PMI) grew to 9 in June from 40.9 in May. The industry recorded growth in employment, output and new orders. Production volumes grew significantly in June as the country began to ease its lockdown measures.
- Manufacturing activities in South Africa continued to expand in June, with data from Absa showing that the country's PMI grew to 9 in June from 50.2 in May.
- Survey data from IHS Markit shows manufacturing activities in India moved towards stabilisation in June, with the PMI index increasing to 2 from 30.8 in May. New orders and output contracted slightly due to lower demand caused by the nationwide lockdown to contain the recent spike in new coronavirus cases.
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