Pace of UK job losses worst since 2012
UK manufacturers cut jobs last month at the fastest rate since 2012 as pressures from Brexit and a global trade slowdown caused the sector's longest decline since the financial crisis.
The IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) sank to 48.9 in November from 49.6 in October, a smaller decline than an initial estimate of 48.3.
But the PMI stuck below the 50 level which divides growth from contraction for a seventh consecutive month, the longest such run since 2009, as the country headed for an early election on December 12 intended to end a parliamentary logjam over Brexit.
"November saw UK manufacturers squeezed between a rock and hard place, as the uncertainty created by a further delay to Brexit was accompanied by growing paralysis ahead of the forthcoming general election," said IHS Markit economist Rob Dobson.
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The UK's economy has slowed since the referendum decision in June 2016 to leave the European Union, with manufacturing especially hard hit due to concerns about disruption to supply chains on top of pressures from the US-China trade war.