A slight revision higher but it still marks a modest contraction of the manufacturing sector in the UK as output, new orders and new export business all decline. That comes despite input cost and selling price inflation easing slightly on the month. S&P Global notes that:
“UK manufacturing production suffered a further decline at the start of the fourth quarter, with the sector buffeted by weak demand, high inflation, supply-chain constraints and heightened political and economic uncertainties. New work intakes fell at the quickest pace since May 2020 as demand in domestic and export markets weakened. While the downturn has lessened the pressure on prices, the weak pound and high energy prices mean elevated cost inflation remains a prime concern for manufacturers.
“The darkening situation also knocked business optimism down to a two-and-a-half year low, as concerns about the weak demand outlook, recession, inflationary pressure and sustained uncertainty hit confidence. The labour market picture has also deteriorated, with companies cutting jobs for the first time in almost two years while still struggling to recruit and retain appropriate staff. On current form manufacturing is in no position to help prevent the broader UK economy from sliding into recession.”