MANUFACTURING grew at the slowest rate in a year in July, but it is continuing to enjoy one of its strongest growth periods for 22 years, a survey has suggested.

The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 55.4 from 57.2 in June - its lowest level since July 2013 .

The drop could reflect the prospect of higher interest rates at home and the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, say analysts.

Loading article content

Businesses may be concerned that the crisis in the Ukraine could escalate further, weakening demands for exports to key European markets, senior Markit economist Rob Dobson said.

"If the situation with Russia deteriorates further, we should expect goods exports to come under further pressure," Mr Dobson said.

The Markit figures support Bank of England expectations that growth would slow down slightly from the rate seen in the first half of the year, he added.