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Manufacturing slowdown due to Brexit uncertainty

by LLB Politics Reporter
1st May 19 12:43 pm

The UK’s manufacturing sector has slowed down in growth during April due to Brexit uncertainty’s accelerated foreign company’s shunning the UK.

Last month the Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed a reading of 53.1, lower than the 55.1 in March.

A number above 50 shows growth, the readings were in line with economist’s expectations.

New orders and expansion in output slowed while new export business decreased for the second fastest pace in four and half years.

This marks a slowdown over the gains made in March where by manufacturers stockpiled on goods, ahead of what would have been the 29 March EU withdrawal.

Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit that compiled the survey, said there are reports of “overseas clients acting now to re-route their supply chains away from the UK in advance of Brexit.”

Adding, “The upturn in the UK manufacturing sector eased at the start of the second quarter. Growth of output and new orders slowed, leading to job cuts for the third time in the past four months.

“The trend in new export business was especially weak, as high stock holdings at clients and slower global economic growth led to reduced demand from key markets such as the European Union, the USA and China.”

With the new deadline for Article 50 now being 31 October, Britain’s exit day still remains uncertain.

Employment in manufacturing has declined for the third time in over the past four months during April, along with job losses attributed to “natural wastage, improved efficiency and workforce restructuring.”

Dobson concluded, “Companies plan to use new product launches, new technologies and improved marketing strategies to drive growth forward in the coming months.

“However, Brexit uncertainty continues to weigh on plans, as some firms remain concerned about future growth prospects and the likely impact on output and demand from the unwinding of inventory positions later in the year.”

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