Commenting on today’s IoP data, Ms Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“Today’s data confirms the ongoing weakness across manufacturing with broad-based falls across more or less all the sub-sectors leading to a hefty month on month decline. This points to a fairly dismal first quarter for industry that will again pose a drag on GDP growth.
“While we might attribute some of the weakness to volatility in the data the direction of travel does reflect the more subdued sentiment we’re picking up from across industry. Taken together with the disappointing trade numbers and, the dip in productivity at the end of last year, it appears that a return to a more balanced recovery across the economy is dissipating.”