Belfast Telegraph

Manufacturing industry stays static

By Staff Reporter

Manufacturing in Northern Ireland has not moved forward in the first half of 2016 due to currency challenges and EU uncertainty, it's been claimed.

Stephen Kelly, chief executive of Manufacturing NI, spoke as the Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing purchasing managers' index showed Britain's manufacturing sector eked out modest growth last month.

That was an improvement on a shock contraction in April, but remained close to stagnation as Brexit fears hit activity.

The closely-watched index showed a reading of 50.1 in May, up from 49.4 in April, which had marked the first contraction for more than three years.

A reading above 50 signals growth.

The report reveals that more than a third of manufacturers surveyed believe uncertainty over the EU vote has had a detrimental impact on their business. And 8% said the impact was "seriously detrimental".

Mr Kelly said things were "flat". "The shift in currency at the start of the year helped a little but since then the rate has moved again with the EU Referendum.

"The general consensus is that we've not moved forward any this year, challenges in the economy persist and people continue to work hard to carve out new markets."

Belfast Telegraph