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UK Manufacturing Output Declines Most On Record: CBI

UK manufacturing output declined at the fastest pace on record in May as factories are grappling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, survey results from the Confederation of British Industry showed Thursday.

The output volume balance fell to -54 percent in May from -21 percent in April, the Industrial Trends Survey revealed. This was the fastest fall since records began in 1975.

The decline was largely driven by motor vehicles and transport and food, drink and tobacco sub-sectors.

A net balance of -49 percent expects output to fall in the next three months.

The total order book balance declined to -62 percent in May from -56 percent in April. This was the weakest since October 1981. The score was forecast to fall to -59.

The export order book balance came in at -55 percent, the lowest since 1998.

"Production levels have fallen even more sharply as firms experience collapsing demand and supply chain disruption, leading some to temporarily shut down their factories," Anna Leach, CBI Deputy Chief Economist, said.

"The sector is bracing for what will be a challenging period," the economist said.

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