UK manufacturing downturn hits seven year low

Commenting on the latest results from the Markit/CIPS PMI manufacturing survey, Mike Thornton, head of manufacturing at RSM said: ‘As the Government launches its "Get ready for Brexit" campaign, in what looks set to be a pivotal week in UK politics, the latest PMI index reinforces the need for manufacturers to prepare for every eventuality, as it hits a seven year low at 47.4. 

‘First, manufacturers need to anticipate and prepare for any short-term disruption Brexit could have to trade, resource, the supply chain and cashflow. Second, understand what tariffs might apply to all aspects of production and map out your import and export relationship, considering rules of origin and the impact on your wider supply chain. And finally, monitor currency rates which could have a significant impact on your pricing strategy in the short to medium term. 

‘This prolonged state of uncertainty is stalling investment, so the slowdown in orders is not surprising. However, disengaging from Brexit at this point will negatively impact business resilience and some hard short-term decisions may need to be taken in the interests of long term sustainability.’