U.K. Manufacturing Remains Weak as Brexit Drama Drags On
British manufacturing improved slightly in November, according to the Confederation of British Industry, though the sector remains subdued amid ongoing political uncertainty at home and slowing global growth.
The business lobby’s monthly survey published Tuesday showed a slightly more upbeat picture than in October, when factories were preparing for Britain’s expected departure from the European Union on Oct. 31, which ultimately failed to materialize.
The country is now instead facing a general election in December, with the possible outcomes ranging from Brexit under Prime Minister Boris Johnson to a Jeremy Corbyn-led government which could nationalize large swathes of industry.
Domestic and export order books improved but remained below their long-term averages, while stock levels were deemed more than adequate, the CBI said. Output expanded in only five out of 17 manufacturing sectors, with the slowdown particularly pronounced in motor vehicles and metals. Expectations for output now stand at their weakest since 2009.
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