Manufacturing recovery 'hit by confidence dip over Brexit'
Confidence among manufacturing firms has dropped since the vote to leave the European Union, putting the sector's recovery in jeopardy, says a report.
A survey of more than 400 companies by the EEF showed business confidence had fallen in every region of England and Wales.
The manufacturers' group said the biggest falls were in the London, the South East and Wales.
Many firms said they could not identify any business opportunities from Brexit.
Lee Hopley, chief economist at the EEF, said: "The Brexit vote has put the manufacturing sector's recovery in jeopardy.
"The growth path is now uncertain in all regions and, while firms in the South East and London and Wales look better placed to ride the storm, companies in the Eastern counties, North East and the South West appear more downbeat about their ability to cope.
"The referendum outcome has provided a jolt and it's clear that there are fresh challenges ahead. Exchange rate volatility, political uncertainty and the danger of increased costs are already causing concern across the regions and business confidence is in short supply.
"But our sector is nothing if not dynamic, determined and resilient. UK manufacturing remains a force to be reckoned with.
"With a solid business environment, supportive policies and the right outcome from Brexit negotiations allowing for trade and ongoing access to skilled workers, manufacturers should be able to overcome the risks, reap future growth rewards and get their business confidence back on track."