UK Manufacturing hit a 13-month high in March, as companies stepped up production in advance of Brexit, with stockpiling rising to record levels.
The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI rose to 55.1 in March 2019, well above the market consensus of 51.0, and showing the strongest pace of expansion in the manufacturing sector since February 2018.
The rate of increase in stocks of purchases hit a survey record high for the third month running in March. The three sub-industries covered (capital, consumer and intermediate goods) all saw inventories rise at series high rates.
Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said: “Manufacturers reported a surge of business activity in March as companies stepped-up their preparations for potential Brexit-related disruptions.”
Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, said: “Businesses on both sides of the channel intensified their efforts this month to accumulate materials with the fastest increase in the stock building of finished goods since 1992, as the UK hurtled towards the Brexit deadline.”