Commenting on the latest PMI data, Ms Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“The further slowdown in the rate of expansion in manufacturing activity suggests that the weaker official data seen last week wasn’t a temporary aberration. A weaker start to the second quarter with a more subdued pace of growth in new overseas business perhaps reflects concerns about the erection of new barriers to trade, the recent pick up in Sterling and a softer growth patch at the start of the year in European markets.
“Before anyone hits the panic button, however, the UK survey is still pointing to expansion across manufacturing, a trend that had been in place for the best part of two years. This should nevertheless focus government minds on the next steps on implementing its industrial strategy, which is crucial in sustaining competitiveness and growth over the longer term.”