UK manufacturing plunged to 45.9, way below the 49.7 expected by economists.This down from 50.2 in April.
“Perhaps of greatest concern is that this month’s drop is not simply linked to the ongoing crisis of the Eurozone, but to increasing weakness of the UK domestic market, with overall order books collapsing at a faster rate than export orders,” wrote Markit economist Rob Dobson.
Key points from Markit:
- UK Manufacturing PMI at 45.9 in May, from 50.2 in April
- New orders drop at fastest pace since March 2009
- Manufacturers cut back output, employment, purchasing and inventories
More from Markit:
The UK manufacturing sector took a sudden sharp turn for the worse in May. Companies scaled back production and employment as inflows of new business declined at the steepest pace since March 2009, amid rising uncertainty among domestic and overseas clients.
At 45.9 in May, down from 50.2 in April, the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) fell to its lowest level for three years and below the neutral 50.0 mark for the first time since last November. The headline index fell by 4.3 points over the month, the second-steepest fall in its 20-year history.
Economists expect the May UK manufacturing PMI number to come in at 49.7, down slightly from 50.5 in April.
A read below 50 signals contraction in the industry.