UK PMI Manufacturing was finalized at 48.9 in November, revised up from 48.3, down from October’s 49.6. Markit noted that output, new orders and employment all declined. Stocks depleted and purchasing reduced following Brexit delay.
Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey:
“November saw UK manufacturers squeezed between a rock and hard place, as the uncertainty created by a further delay to Brexit was accompanied by growing paralysis ahead of the forthcoming general election. Downturns in output and new orders continued amid a renewed contraction in exports. The pace of job losses also hit a seven-year high as firms sought to reduce overheads in the face of falling sales. Destocking at manufacturers and their clients following the latest Brexit delay was a major contributor to the weakness experienced by the sector. Inflationary pressures meanwhile showed signs of moderating further, with input costs falling slightly for the first time since March 2016.
“Signs of a two-speed economy persisted, with intensifying business uncertainty leading to a further steep drop in demand for machinery and equipment as firms cut back on investment, but rising demand for consumer goods suggests that households continue to provide some support to the economy.
“Manufacturers across all sectors will be hoping that the New Year brings clarity on the political, trade and economic fronts, providing a more certain foundation to plan and rebuild as the next decade begins.”