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According to James Smith, developed markets economist at ING, stockpiling had  been the key theme in UK manufacturing over recent months, as concerns rose about the possibility of an imminent ‘no deal’ Brexit.

Key Quotes

“Recent PMI surveys had suggested that firms were building inventory at an unprecedented rate – faster in fact than any G7 economy has experienced in the survey’s history.”

“But now that Article 50 has been extended and the immediate risk of ‘no deal’ postponed, this stockpiling activity has eased slightly according to the latest survey data. This helped take the manufacturing PMI from 55.1 in March to 53.1 in April.”

“One way or another, the outlook for the sector looks challenging and this is one reason why we expect overall economic growth to remain capped over coming months. We don’t currently expect the Bank of England to increase rates this year.”