The October IHS Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing PMI® reading remained in the contraction zone at 49.6, with the survey recording downturns in output, new orders and employment. The survey also indicated that stock-building activity had gathered pace (although it should be noted the survey research predated confirmation of the Brexit extension).
Companies reported weaker inflows of new business from domestic sources, resulting in scaling back of output, although this was partially offset by stock-building.
There was a slight improvement in export business, with new orders rising for the first time in seven months. This appears to have reflected EU clients bringing forward purchases ahead of 31 October.
Inflationary pressures were described as ‘relatively contained’ with no change to input prices. Business confidence improved mildly to a three month high although still low by historic levels.