UK manufacturing growth slows to two-year low

The closely followed S&P Global/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI recorded a reading of 52.8 in June, down from 54.6 in May.

The UK manufacturing sector saw growth drop to a two-year low in June (Rui Vieira/PA)
The UK manufacturing sector saw growth drop to a two-year low in June (Rui Vieira/PA)

Growth in the UK’s manufacturing sector slowed further last month to a two-year-low as concerns over the global economy and raw material shortages impacted new orders.

The closely followed S&P Global/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI recorded a reading of 52.8 in June, down from 54.6 in May.

Any reading above 50 reflects that the industry is in growth.

The latest score also fell below expectations from a preliminary 53.4 reading from flash figures last week.

Rob Dobson, director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: “UK manufacturing output growth ground to a near standstill in June, as intakes of new work contracted for the first time since January 2021.

“Domestic market conditions became increasingly difficult and foreign demand fell sharply again, stifled by Brexit, transport disruption, the war in Ukraine and a global economic slowdown.”

The latest survey showed that the consumer goods sector was among the worst affected by the dip in new orders.

In contrast, investment goods producers saw new work lift for the fifth consecutive month.

Total new export orders contracted for the fifth month in a row, driven by the slowdown in China, the war in Ukraine and economic uncertainty.

Some firms also highlighted that ongoing Brexit-related disruption and weaker growth has impacted new demand from the EU.

Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “Supply chain managers reported that ports and paperwork were their undoing in June with Brexit a thorn in the side of manufacturers combined with weaker domestic demand, inefficient performance in supply chains and an overall shaky UK economy.”

Business confidence among firms dropped to its lowest since May 2020, as the proportion of firms expecting production levels to grow over the next year dropped to 47%.

Fhaheen Khan, senior economist at Make UK, said: “Today’s figure is nothing if not expected as inflation ebbs the sector’s growth away from recovery.

“Production and levels of new work are starting to fall and will likely continue in this direction until economic conditions improve.

“Up until now strong demand has been the saving grace of industry, but this can only go on for so long before consumers and businesses have had their fill, or be priced out of the market due to inflation.”

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