UK factories slash jobs amid ‘general election paralysis’ – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, including new PMI surveys of the world’s manufacturing


9.45am GMT

Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit, says next week’s general election is hurting Britain’s factories.

With orders dropping, and exports down too, firms are being forced to cut jobs to protect their finances, he warns.

“November saw UK manufacturers squeezed between a rock and hard place, as the uncertainty created by a further delay to Brexit was accompanied by growing paralysis ahead of the forthcoming general election. Downturns in output and new orders continued amid a renewed contraction in exports. The pace of job losses also hit a seven-year high as firms sought to reduce overheads in the face of falling sales.

Destocking at manufacturers and their clients following the latest Brexit delay was a major contributor to the weakness experienced by the sector. Inflationary pressures meanwhile showed signs of moderating further, with input costs falling slightly for the first time since March 2016.

9.39am GMT

Newsflash: Britain’s factories are slashing jobs at the fastest rate in over seven years, as the sector continues to shrink.

That’s according to the UK manufacturing report for November, just released, which shows that political and economic uncertainty are hurting the economy.

The UK manufacturing downturn continued in November, as businesses responded to the delay to Brexit and a fresh injection of uncertainty from the forthcoming general election. Output, new orders and employment all fell, while destocking activity resumed as firms depleted buffers built-up in advance of the postponed exit date.

Companies linked further job cuts to cost reduction efforts, efficiencies, Brexit uncertainty, redundancies, natural wastage and staff restructuring.

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