Investing.com - Activity in the UK manufacturing sector grew at the slowest pace in seventeen months in April, according to a closely watched business survey released on Tuesday.
Research firm Markit said its manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 53.9 in last month, compared to forecasts for a reading of 56.5.
The prior month’s reading was revised down to 54.9.
Growth of output and new orders eased, while business optimism dipped to a five-month low. Falling backlogs of work, supply-chain constraints and rising stocks of finished goods also signaled that output growth will remain subdued in the coming months.
April also saw growth of new export business slow to a ten-month low.
“The start of the second quarter saw the UK manufacturing sector lose further steam. The headline PMI dipped to a 17-month low as growth of production, new business and employment all slowed", said Rob Dobson, director at survey compiler Markit.
“While adverse weather was partly to blame in February and March, there are no excuses for April’s disappointing performance, making the chances of a near term hike in interest rates by the Bank of England look increasingly remote."
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