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The UK manufacturing sector activity continued to decelerate in the month of February, the latest survey report from IHS Markit showed this Friday.  

The seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) retreated further to four-month lows of 52.0 In February versus 52.0 expected and 52.8 last.

Key Points:                

Stocks of inputs and finished goods rise sharply.

Rate of job losses at six-year high as optimism hits series low.

Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit, commented on the survey:

“With Brexit day looming, UK manufacturers continued to implement plans to mitigate potential disruptions. Stockpiling of both inputs and finished products remained the order of the day, with growth in the former hitting a fresh record high.”

“The current elevated degree of uncertainty is also having knock-on effects for business confidence and employment, with optimism at its lowest ebb in the survey’s history and the rate of job losses accelerating to a six-year high.”

“Official data confirm that manufacturing is already in recession, and the February PMI offers little evidence that any short-lived boost to output from stock-building is sufficient to claw the sector back into growth territory.”