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UK Manufacturing Output Growth Weakest Since 2016: CBI

The UK manufacturing output eased to halt in the three months to June on sharp contraction in automobile production, the Industrial Trends survey data from the Confederation of British Industry showed Wednesday.

The manufacturing output balance fell to +2 percent in June, which was the weakest outturn since April 2016. The balance was +14 percent in three months to May.
Respondents forecast the output balance to rise marginally to +3 percent in three months to July.

Weaker growth was driven by the biggest contraction in auto production since the 2009 financial crisis, reflecting the bringing forward of planned seasonal plant closures to align with previous Brexit deadlines, the lobby said.

In June, the order book balance declined to -15 percent, the weakest since October 2016, from -10 percent in May.

"There's clear evidence that Brexit uncertainty is really biting, with our surveys showing volatility in both stocks and output in recent months," Alpesh Paleja, CBI principal economist, said.

"Firms are desperate to see an end to the current impasse - that means securing a Brexit deal that can not only command the support of parliament and the EU, but prioritises the protection of jobs and the economy," Paleja added.

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