Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

British manufacturing sector feels weight of Brexit uncertainty - USA

British manufacturing sector feels weight of Brexit uncertainty - USA

The Caixin result follows the official PMI data released Wednesday that showed manufacturing sentiment posted a larger-than-expected drop to 50.2 in October from 50.8 in September - meaning factory activity continued to expand but at a much slower pace.

But its overall GDP growth in the first three quarters remained at a high level of 6.7 percent and it is set to achieve its preset GDP growth goal of about 6.5 percent for this year. New orders were the slowest since May.

The headline figure is the Purchasing Managers' Index™ (PMI).

'October saw a worrying turnaround in the performance of the United Kingdom manufacturing sector, ' Director at HIS Markit Rob Dobson said.

Conditions in the sector "slowed sharply" as output growth weakened and new order inflows and employment declined for the first time since the aftermath of the European Union referendum, according to the closely-followed IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) figures.

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Overall, and despite falling to an 11-month low, business optimism regarding output over the next 12 months was sustained in October.

The survey also showed input price pressures remained high for Chinese manufacturers, due to higher costs for raw materials like steel in particular.

Civil engineering in October grew at the strongest pace since July past year, offsetting the weakest growth in housebuilding and commercial construction in seven and five months, respectively. Anecdotal evidence suggested that ongoing growth of new work underpinned the increase in buying levels. "Third- and fourth-tier cities will continue to see faster consumption growth than metropolises". Prior to September, the health of the sector had improved for 15 consecutive months. In a clear sign that inflationary pressures are continuing to build, strong customer demand meant firms were often able to push cost increases through to selling prices.

The sub-indices on manufacturing production and new orders both declined at the fastest pace in more than three years, the PMI survey found. A number above the 50.0 level indicates industry expansion while a number below is consistent with contraction. Production and business confidence continued to cool despite stable demand.

China's manufacturing sector has been squeezed by a reduction in sources of credit amid Beijing's multi-year crackdown on corporate debt and risky lending practices, with smaller firms especially under strain. Any unauthorised use, including but not limited to copying, distributing, transmitting or otherwise of any data appearing is not permitted without IHS Markit's prior consent.

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