Amid Brexit chaos, the pound is plunging again after Britain's economy just posted 'shocking' manufacturing data

Stefan Wermuth / REUTERSBoris Johnson’s Brexit plans are sending markets plummeting.
  • Among the chaos caused by Brexit, Britain’s manufacturing plummeted, with data showing the biggest drop in seven years.
  • The pound dropped 0.6% against the dollar on Monday, as the global economic slowdown and Brexit weighed on the British economy.
  • One analyst said, “confidence is on the floor, with manufacturers as pessimistic as they have ever been.”
  • Watch the pound trade live.
  • View Markets Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The UK’s economy just posted a massive red flag as manufacturing posted its lowest PMI reading in seven years.

August’s figure for PMI hit 47.4, the lowest figure since July 2012. IHS Markit said that “the high levels of economic and political uncertainty pervasive across domestic and global markets continued to weigh heavily on the performance of UK manufacturing during August.”

Orders for British products also contracted at the fastest pace in over seven years according to IHS Markit, signalling the weight political uncertainty and Brexit is having on the economy.

The pound fell 0.7% against the dollar on Monday morning, and 0.3% against the euro.

UK PMIIHS MarkitPMI hit a seven year low in August

“Although traders have trimmed their net short positions a tad last week, there’s already a lot of negativity around the pound and the fear is that the economy starts to contract before we leave the EU,” said Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.

“The manufacturing PMI data is simply shocking,” said Wilson adding “confidence is on the floor, with manufacturers as pessimistic as they have ever been.”

The past week has been one of the most tumultuous weeks for Brexit after the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, made the decision to suspend Parliament for a month starting next week – a move that would help him push through a “no-deal” Brexit come an October deadline.

Johnson’s actions sent the pound tumbling. The pound fell 0.7% against the dollar and 0.6% against the euro last Wednesday as markets feared that Britain would leave the EU without a deal.

But Wilson said this time, the global slowdown taking much of the blame.

“The data for the UK economy may well now get worse before it gets better,” said Wilson.

This week the UK parliament will sit for one week to discuss Brexit, and anxious traders are waiting to gauge sentiment.

GBP/USDMarkets Insider

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A ‘no-deal’ Brexit would hammer the Irish economy and wipe billions from its GDP.

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