British manufacturing growth slid to a 17-month low in April, sending sterling sinking and further reducing the chances of an interest rate hike by the Bank of England next week.
Manufacturing growth in the Eurozone fell to a 13-month low on the IHS Markit Purchasing Managers Index over April, as the manufacturing big beasts of Germany, Holland and Italy registered a slowdown in order growth.
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More rapid rates of output and new order growth and a greater fall in vendor performance contributed to the higher index reading.
"The construction sector's difficulties in recent months has clearly been influenced by economic, political and Brexit uncertainties fuelling clients' caution over committing to new projects", said Howard Archer, chief economic advisor at EY ITEM Club.
In contrast to the trend we saw over the previous two months - and despite reports of improving domestic demand conditions - staffing levels stagnated at the start of Q2-2018. In fact, the rate of expansion in purchasing activity quickened from March's eight-month low. This was the weakest expansion in a year.
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Downing Street would not commit to saying the prime minister was confident she would overturn all of the defeats in the Lords.
Meanwhile, a private survey revealed that the manufacturing sector in the currency bloc grew at the slowest pace in more than a year in April.
Both gauges remained above 50－the threshold between expansion and contraction, indicating that the manufacturing sector maintained stable growth momentum, said analysts. Post- production inventories have decreased in each of the past seven survey periods. Panelists also said backlogs of work declined for the 47th consecutive month in April as there were sufficient resources to complete work in time. The rate of input price inflation also was shown to have accelerated to the sharpest in nearly seven years.
"Putting the PMI data under a magnifying glass, consumer goods was again the bright spot, with output growth being the fastest among all the three market groups".
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The survey noted that business sentiment was at the strongest level since the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) in July 2017.