British manufacturing output suffered its biggest decline in output in seven years in July due to Brexit concerns and slowing global demand.
Manufacturers report that lower order and production volumes were due to ongoing uncertainties – political, global trade tensions and Brexit – and slower world economic growth.
“Companies also noted that some clients were routing supply chains away from the UK in advance of Brexit,” says the IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing PMI report.
And there’s more bad news. Employment fell for the fourth month in succession, with the pace of decline accelerating to one of the highest over the past six-and-a-half years.
Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, calls the decline in employment levels “unsurprising” as businesses hesitated “to keep calm and carry on and build staff levels”.
He adds, “However, optimism for the future stayed relatively buoyant in the hope that certainty will once again return to UK shores soon, and in spite of the increase in no-deal Brexit rhetoric.”