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UK Manufacturing Activity Contracts In March

The UK manufacturing activity contracted in March due to the outbreak of coronavirus, or covid-19 and subsequent mitigation efforts, final survey data from IHS Markit showed Wednesday.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply factory Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 47.8 in March from 51.7 in February. The flash estimate was 48.0.

Output fell to the greatest extent since July 2012 following a similarly severe reduction in intakes of new business. The impact was also felt in the labor market and through supply chains.

Business sentiment fell to a series-record low in March. Further, inflationary pressures remained relatively contained, with input costs and output charges only rising at mild rates.

Duncan Brock, group director at the CIPS, said "The manufacturing sector was knocked sideways by the impact of COVID-19 and into contraction territory, experiencing some of the most challenging trading conditions since PMI records began."

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