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UK manufacturing soars
January 4, 2017, 10:58 am

Boats of a flotilla participate in a campaign supporting Britain to leave the European Union in London, Britain, on June 15, 2016. While the UK's economic growth will likely be slower, manufacturing is up [Xinhua]

Boats of a flotilla participate in a campaign supporting Britain to leave the European Union in London, Britain, on June 15, 2016. While the UK’s economic growth will likely be slower, manufacturing is up [Xinhua]


The sterling pound’s dramatic devaluation since the June 23 Brexit referendum has been a boon for the UK’s manufacturing sector.

According to the Markit/Cips survey of the sector, manufacturing rose to its highest level in 30 months reaching 56.1.

This marked the fifth such consecutive rise in the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI); in November, it stood at 53.6.

Purchasing managers and manufacturing experts say that the drop in the pound against a basket of currencies has helped boost both domestic and foreign demand for goods manufactured in UK factories.

The latest PMI figures come amid recently published reports measuring optimism versus pessimism about the UK’s yet-to-be-negotiated exit from the European Union.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which measures annual employment, is indicating a rosier-than-previously-expected picture of the jobs market.

A CBI survey of more than 350 business published last week showed that most expect to grow their workforce in 2017, with the bulk of expansion expected in the IT and sciences sectors.

The weakened pound is also a boon for tourists who have flocked to the UK, but a curse to importers who have faced sudden currency inflation.

The boost in tourism numbers has partially helped the services sector weather out Brexit and and continue to expand.

This has invariably boosted consumer spending with Christmas and New Year bargains expected to pull in about 5 billion pounds, according to the BBC.

Still, the UK would have overall been better off without Brexit, most industrialists, economists and business leaders say.

A survey of business managers carried out by Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and published in the Independent revealed that 65 per cent believe Brexit will hinder the UK’s economic growth.

It grew at 2.2 per cent in 2016, one of the EU’s most robust and stable economies in the past two years, but the forecast for 2017 is a mere 1.2 per cent.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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