UK manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years in April due to concerns about the strength of the global economy.
The Markit/CIPS manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 49.2 in April from 50.7 in March, which is the first time that activity in the manufacturing section has dropped since March 2013. Anything under the 50 mark indicates falling output.
Firms have said that a fall in new business from overseas and uncertainty due to the EU referendum are to blame. As the oil and gas industry is currently slowed, it is hitting production as this is a major company for UK businesses.
Matching February’s three-year low, the index for new orders fell to 50.4 in April, which is lower than 51.9 the previous month.
Official figures revealed last week that UK economic growth slowed to 0.4% in the first quarter of the year from 0.6% later in 2015.