MAKE UK – Economic Monthly Briefing – May 2019

MAKE UK, the Manufacturers organisation have just released their May Monthly briefing.  For the full document please click the link below.

In summary economic activity remained positive in the three months to February when UK GDP grew by 0.3%.  The service sector continues to be the main contributor with growth of 0.4% while computer programming expanded by a whopping 2.6% in the three-month period. Looking at the other main sectors, construction reported a bad performance contracting by 0.6% despite a 0.4% growth month-on-month in February.  On the other hand, production grew by 0.2% thanks to manufacturing rising by 0.4% in the last three months.  Looking at the most recent PMI, manufacturing moved from the 55.1 of March to 53.1 in April. 

After narrowly avoiding the no-deal cliff-edge twice – at the end of March and in mid-April – companies reduced their stockpiling activities and their output due to feeble customer demand from overseas.

So it seems “Steady as she goes” whilst we all wait to see what on earth is going to happen with Brexit.

After a long period of declining manufacturing activity which lasted for most of 2018, the first two months of 2019 saw a sharp pick-up in activities with manufacturing growing by 1.1% in January and by 0.9% in February, respectively. However, this very good result appears to be the result of stockpiling, with companies preparing for a potential no-deal Brexit which could have happened on 29th March.

By Charles Whelan on 07/05/2019