Continued uncertainty over Brexit hitting manufacturers
THE outlook for UK manufacturers is "deteriorating" amid continued Brexit uncertainty and weaker global growth, according to a new report.
Research by the EEF manufacturers' organisation and business advisers BDO LLP suggested that exports, which have boosted the sector in recent years, have "hit the brakes".
A survey of more than 320 companies indicated that investment and employment plans are down.
Europe continues to remain the market with the best prospects for manufacturing companies, said the report.
EEF chief executive Stephen Phipson said: "The moderation in manufacturing performance over the course of this year appears to have gathered pace during the final quarter with more clouds on the horizon than there have been for some time.
"This should come as no surprise given the significant political uncertainty at home, which is why it is essential that there is an agreement for the UK's withdrawal as soon as possible.
"If everything that can go right does then business and consumer confidence should hopefully gather some steam next year with improved prospects for growth."
Tom Lawton, of BDO, said: "Manufacturers have remained reasonably confident over the course of the year but the sharp decline in export orders is a real cause for concern.
"There are likely to be a number of causes for the fall in exports this quarter, uncertainty over our future relationship with the EU being the main one."