MarketDeal24.Com – Activity in United Kingdom’s industrial sector contracted at the steepest pace since the eurozone debt crisis in March as the outbreak of COVID-19 epidemic led to indented business confidence, a survey revealed on Wednesday.
The IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) plunged to 47.8 points — its lowest since July 2012 — from 51.7 points in February.
Delays in transporting goods and acute short supply of raw materials triggered an exponential increase in vendor lead times in the 28-year history since this survey began. As a result optimism in the business sector and subsequent confidence in the economy dipped to its bottom.
In describing the grim reading of the survey, Bob Dole, the chief strategist of IHS Markit said, “The impacts were felt across most of the industrial segment of the economy, with output going down sharply in all major sectors except food production and pharmaceuticals.”
‘The transport sector has suffered the worst downturn,” he added.
The survey was however, conducted from March 12-26, including the days immediately after UK PM Johnson ordered a shutdown of much of the country’s economy on March 23.