UK Manufacturing Upturn Slows as Brexit Stockpiling Eases

UK manufacturing growth slowed in April as companies eased their stockpiling following the delay of Brexit and new export orders declined, according to a survey of executives, the Financial Times reported. The IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index dropped to 53.1 in April, from 55.1 in the previous month, in line with the expectations of economists polled by Reuters. The survey covers last month, when the UK’s exit from the EU was delayed to the end of October after MPs repeatedly voted down Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU. Overseas demand fell at the second-fastest pace in four-and-a-half years, with Brexit quoted as the main factor, while stockpiling eased, resulting in a third month of job cuts so far this year, according to the survey. “The manufacturing sector in particular and the economy overall will likely take a hit in the near term as at least some of this stockpiling is unwound,” said Howard Archer, economist at EY Item Club. Read more