Manufacturing roles on the up despite Brexit concerns

(2 minutes to read)

Although Brexit preparations remain a concern, latest findings reveal that UK manufacturing output improved during March.

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), shows overall positive results for the sector, with trends in output, new orders and employment strengthening.

Companies indicated that future output growth may be constrained, however, 46% of survey respondents forecast output to be higher one year from now. Optimism was linked to improved demand, new product launches, entering new markets and reduced Brexit uncertainty in the future.

Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, commented, “Manufacturers reported a surge of business activity in March as companies stepped-up their preparations for potential Brexit-related disruptions. Output, employment and new orders all rose at increased rates as manufacturers and their clients raced to build safety stocks. Stocking of finished goods and input inventories surged to new survey-record highs.

“The stock-building boost introduces a major headwind for demand, output and jobs growth moving forward. Manufacturers are already reporting concerns that future trends could be constrained as inventory positions across the economy are unwound. The survey is also picking up signs that EU companies are switching away from sourcing inputs from UK firms as Brexit approaches. It looks as if the impact of Brexit preparations, and any missed opportunities and investments during this sustained period of uncertainty, will reverberate through the manufacturing sector for some time to come.”

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