Manufacturing in UK declines at fastest rate in eight years, due to COVID-19

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6th April 2020 10:53 - Industrial

Manufacturing in UK declines at fastest rate in eight years, due to COVID-19: A survey of business leaders in the manufacturing sector has found that business output as well as orders have slumped - at the fastest rate seen in eight years, owing to COVID-19.

On Wednesday 1 April data provider IHS Markit said that its purchasing manager's index saw the sector fall from 51.7 in February, to 47.8 at the end of March.  It had been predicted by IHS Markit earlier in the month than the sector would see a fall to a PMI OF 48, while economists believed that it would be more like 47. 

In the Eurozone the slowdown was greater, with a PMI of 44.5 registered in March. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused 'huge disruptions' across the sector, with UK manufacturers seeing production, demand and supply chains affected. 

"Output and new orders fell at the fastest rates since mid-2012, while supplier delivery times lengthened to the greatest extent in the 28-year survey history as shortages grew more widespread,” said Rob Dobson, the director at IHS Markit. 

Food and pharmaceuticals were the only areas of manufacturing to not experience a decline in March.

While manufacturers are suffering, some have turned their production output to making products that will help the fight against coronavirus.

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