(AFP) – Britain’s manufacturing activity slumped in December for the eighth month in a row, hit by Brexit jitters and global trade tensions, data showed yesterday.
The IHS Markit UK Manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) stood at 47.5 last month, the group said in a statement.
That compared with 48.9 in November, holding under the 50 mark that indicates growth. Anything below 50 shows a contraction.
December was the weakest level since August when the PMI hit a seven-year low of 47.4 – which was last seen in July 2012.
“Domestic demand for manufactured goods has been hampered by businesses’ caution over investment amid a number of uncertainties – Brexit, domestic economic and political, global economic – which has limited expenditure on capital goods,” said EY economist Howard Archer.
“Meanwhile, weakened global growth and an uncertain trading environment is weighing down on foreign demand for UK manufactured goods.
“Indeed, the survey reported that ongoing concerns relating to the economic, global trade and political outlooks weighed on manufacturing activity in December.”
Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson won a landslide election on Dec 12 with a vow to finally “Get Brexit Done” on Jan 31, more than three and a half years after Britain voted to leave the EU in a knife-edge referendum.
However, some experts argue the timetable to fully exit the European Union by the end of the year is nigh on impossible.