Manufacturers downbeat as Brexit fears rise

Commenting on the latest results from the Markit/CIPS PMI manufacturing survey, Mike Thornton, head of manufacturing at RSM said:

'In the period since the referendum, the mood among manufacturers has been broadly positive, due in part to the currency movements which have been favourable to manufacturing exporters.

'Given the current political uncertainty surrounding our imminent exit from the EU, it's hardly surprising that manufacturers are getting increasingly concerned – evidenced by the PMI score falling to a 27-month low. 

'The reduction in inflows of orders from overseas will be of particular concern. Indeed, our own research found that some eight per cent of European businesses have cut ties with UK suppliers amid Brexit concerns. 

'This apprehension is also evident from the increased focus among manufacturers on cost controls and cash. Such defensive strategies are clear signs that the realities of Brexit uncertainty are beginning to bite.

'The decline in the consumer goods sector is also having an effect and yesterday's GfK report showing a further decline in consumer confidence won't help lift the mood. 

'What all manufacturers – and indeed, all UK businesses - will be hoping for, is swift progress on agreeing a Brexit deal that will bring this uncertainty to an end.'

Brexit - time to plan

There is no doubt that Brexit will have far-reaching impacts, with reverberations felt across every sector. Many in the business world will understandably be concerned.

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