UK manufacturing orders slide, stockpiling boosts outputStaff Writer | March 1, 2019
UK manufacturers benefitted from further stockpiling last month, as companies looked to prepare for potential Brexit-related disruptions, with new orders almost stagnant.
Britain The UK purchasing managers' index from IHS Markit fell to 52.0 for February
February's reading was in line with forecasts but the second-slowest rate in over two-years.
New order growth slipped steeply to minimal levels as domestic and export orders declined, with a rise in the output balance from 51.5 to 52.9 almost entirely reflecting companies' efforts to reduce backlogs and build stocks of finished products in advance of the default 29 March Brexit date.
Manufacturers' optimism regarding future output fell to its lowest level in the series history.
"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," said Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit. ■