Manufacturing performed well in the first month of 2017, according to the latest survey snapshot of the sector, but United Kingdom firms also saw the sharpest rise in factory input costs on record and an apparently waning boost for exports from the slump in the pound.
The official manufacturing PMI came in at 51.3, down a smidgen from 51.4 in December, but still above a 50 reading that indicates expansion.
The decline was the second straight fall in the index, though it has stayed above the 50 mark that separates an expansion of activity from a contraction for six straight months.
"However these results also sound a note of caution and show evidence of the fastest rise in input costs for 25 years".
However, Rob Dobson, an economist at Markit, said that companies seem "fairly sanguine", with a gauge of business confidence at an eight-month high, and said manufacturing could be a "solid" boost growth this quarter.
United Kingdom manufacturers reported a bumper start to 2017, with output growth delivering a 32-month high.
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On the margin side, the rate of input cost inflation accelerated sharply during January to the fastest since October 2012.
Factory purchasing managers also reported mounting costs and prices. However, business expectations for output over the next 12 months remained high.
The main factors contributing to the above-50 PMI reading were growth of new orders and output as market conditions returned to normal and led to subsequent improvement in demand.
"The question is whether increased cost inflationary pressure will act as a drag on manufacturing growth going forward".
However, analysts at the research firm have raised some concerns. The report showed that out of the 34 sub-sectors surveyed during the month, 21 sub-sectors recorded decline in activity. "Firstly, outstanding business levels continued to deteriorate at a substantial pace, offering signs that jobs growth could slow or reverse in coming months", said Samuel Agass, Economist at IHS Markit.
"Looking ahead, the trend for trade will remain challenging given so much uncertainty in the global economy", De Lima said.