Jobs in the manufacturing sector fell at the fastest rate in seven years during November as low sales squeezed the sector, according to IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index.

The index fell to 48.9 last month from 49.6 in October. A figure below 50 represents contraction.

It was the seventh month in a row that the UK manufacturing sector has shrunk, as it continues to be buffeted by political uncertainty and a global slowdown. Businesses scaled back production in the month, as output and new orders fell.

As many firms had stockpiled for Brexit, the delay to the UK’s departure from the EU meant that they could meet most orders with existing inventories, which shrunk at their fastest pace in more than two years.

Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, commented on the index stating: ‘A heavy sense of inevitability hung around the sector in November as it continued to suffer the effects of a lethal cocktail of Brexit uncertainty, showing global growth and an impending General Election.

‘Supply chain managers cited weakened domestic demand and one of the biggest falls in export orders for seven years as companies unravelled their pre-Brexit stocks.’

Quote from Nigel Holland:

“The shrink the in the manufacturing industry is a natural reaction to the uncertainty caused by Brexit. It is unsurprising that the shrink is occurring, however many people are losing their jobs which is never good.”