Horror show of uncertainty continues for UK manufacturing

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Commenting on the latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI figures, Stephen Cooper, Head of Industrial Manufacturing at KPMG UK, says:

“UK manufacturers will see today’s PMI figure as more trick than treat, as stockpiling in anticipation of an October Brexit flattered the numbers, which remain in negative territory. Looking East, Chinese manufacturers are seeing a ray of unexpected sunshine in the form of better than expected Chinese PMI data which boosted Asian markets. We could do with a similar uptick in the UK and Europe, as continued job losses and falling investment paints a gloomy picture.

“Brexit continues to weigh down on confidence in the sector, as does the global economic backdrop – but perhaps the result of the upcoming UK general election will help alleviate some of this.

“Looking ahead, manufacturers need to keep an eye on sterling and exchange rates, and they should also continue to manage their cost base and working capital carefully.”