The latestinstalment in the PMI – the Purchasing Managers’ Index compiled by marketanalyst Markit – may be an indication of a positive year to come for steelstockists across the UK.

EEF, themanufacturers’ representative group that incorporates UK Steel, say the reporthas some bright spots, which could be interpreted as the beginnings of along-term positive trend.

Chiefeconomist Lee Hopley explains that a pick-up in output in the UK stands incontrast to other European markets, while weakness in Sterling exchange ratescould boost international trade in the short term.

“Thereare reasons to believe this expansionary trend could be maintained in the comingmonths, with European indicators at least stabilising,” she adds.

Internationaltrade is not the only positive factor for steel stockists and other Britishmaterials suppliers, however.

Ms Hopleyalso notes a number of new product launches that are likely to take place inthe UK in the coming year, making it likely to be a better year in terms ofoverall performance than was seen in 2012.