Belfast Telegraph

Unrelenting uncertainty over Brexit and global growth damaging economy: study

The UK economy is sagging under the weight of
The UK economy is sagging under the weight of "unrelenting uncertainty" amid a continuing slump in manufacturing, new research suggests

By Alan Jones

The UK economy is sagging under the weight of "unrelenting uncertainty" amid a continuing slump in manufacturing, new research suggests.

A survey of 6,600 companies employing 1.2 million workers indicated that manufacturers suffered a "significant" deterioration in the three months to September.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said its study showed that domestic and export sales had fallen in the manufacturing sector, while services firms also reported a decrease in orders. The BCC said the findings were "alarming" and said it showed urgent action was needed from Westminster.

Suren Thiru, head of economics at the BCC, said: "Our findings point to a worrying drop-off in economic activity, with unrelenting uncertainty over Brexit and a notable slowing in global growth prospects dragging down almost all the key indicators.

"The manufacturing sector continues to toil under the weight of diminishing cashflow, weakening global demand and disrupted supply chains.

"The data indicates the sector was a drag on UK GDP growth in the quarter.

"Although the slowdown in a number of the key service sector indicators was relatively modest, slowing activity in the sector is a concern, given its dominant share of overall UK economic output.

"A stuttering services sector, coupled with a worrying downturn in manufacturing activity, indicates that any bounce-back in UK GDP growth from the contraction in the second quarter is likely to be underwhelming at best."

Mr Thiru said that unless action was taken, weakening orders, confidence and investment plans suggest growth could slow even further.

Belfast Telegraph

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