At the same time, the increase in the number of new orders is the lowest in the last 20 months since mid-2016, with the increase in export orders remaining stable. The new orders index of 54.9 was also the highest reading since December 2009 when the reading was 56.5. The rate of depletion accelerated to the strongest in three years.
It added that new orders continued to decline during the month.
The March survey showed growth in cost pressures for United Kingdom factories and their selling prices cooled, something that may reassure Bank of England officials who are keeping an eye on inflation pressures. An index reading of above 50 indicates an overall increase in economic activity and below 50 an overall decrease.
However, the average reading for the first quarter of 2018 was the lowest in a year. So it doesn't look "encouraging" in terms of our manufacturing momentum to give people a gauge of our industrial activity.
The employment in the manufacturing sector is slightly shrinking.
In February, the Polish PMI fell for a second consecutive month after reaching an nearly three-year high of 55 in December.
March's 59.3 reading signaled that new orders, production and employment are all still growing, while the supplier deliveries are slowing at slower rate and the backlog of orders was more or less the same.
As such, there's been optimism about the year ahead, though the ongoing tariff battles-largely between the US and China over steel and intellectual property rights-have contributed to inventory stockpiles.
"Intense supply chain pressures and sharply rising raw material costs have been key headwinds for Canadian manufacturing companies so far this year", IHS Markit associate director Tim Moore, said.
"We believe that even though [the] March PMI fell to a five-month low this should not translate into a sharp slowdown in the manufacturing sector in the remaining 1H18". There were also signs that capacity constraints deriving from the recent growth spurt were impacting on production growth in March. Slower demand is explained by a drop in domestic demand, as inflation outpaces income growth eating into disposable income.
The data for the Purchasing Managers' Index in Russian Federation is based on a survey among 300 companies in the manufacturing sector.