A number of manufacturers commented on a cyclical slowdown in client demand. Reflecting this, new orders increased at the weakest rate for just under two years in March.
Growth of input buying was the slowest since May 2017, with survey respondents citing the need to adjust purchasing volumes to softer demand conditions. This helped alleviate pressure on supply chains, with lead-times from vendors lengthening to the least marked degree for almost one-and-a-half years.
Input price inflation continued to moderate in March, with the latest rise in average cost burdens the slowest since August 2017. Moreover, factory gate prices increased at a relatively subdued pace that was the weakest recorded for over one year.