East Midlands job creation hits seven-month high, says report

Growth of business activity and new orders in the East Midlands remained strong in June, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI®) survey.

Job creation also picked up to a seven-month high, supported by increased new orders and backlogs.

The East Midlands Business Activity PMI fell to 55.4 in June, from 57.9 in May. The latest reading signalled solid growth of combined manufacturing and services output that was above the UK average (53.8).

The Lloyds Bank PMI, or Purchasing Managers’ Index, is an economic health-check of UK regions. It is based on responses from manufacturers and services businesses about the amount of goods and services produced during June compared with a month earlier.

Local firms continued to face rising costs, but inflation eased to the weakest since July 2016. Average prices charged increased at a pace that was little changed from the previous month, as firms passed on higher input costs to clients.

Business confidence fell in June, dropping to the lowest level in the five-year series history. This followed a similar trend to that seen across the UK as a whole.

Dene Jones, regional director for the East Midlands, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The East Midlands performed well relative to other UK regions in June, posting expansions in business activity and new orders that were above the national average. Further growth in backlogs supported job creation, which climbed to a seven-month high. Cost pressures eased for local firms as input price inflation softened to the weakest since July 2016. Business confidence, however, was at the lowest level in the five-year series history as firms were concerned about political uncertainty.”