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Brexit stockpiling pushes UK manufacturing to six-month high

Staff Writer |
UK manufacturing sector activity hit a six-month high in December amid pre-Brexit stockpiling, the IHS Markit/CIPS manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index showed on Wednesday.

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The PMI came in at 54.2 in December, up from 53.6 in November. A score above the no-change mark of 50 indicates expansion in the sector, while one below signals contraction. Consensus forecasts had seen the reading falling to 52.5 in December.

The average PMI reading during the fourth quarter of 2018 was the weakest since the third quarter of 2016 - the first survey conducted after the UK's decision to leave the EU, noted Markit.

The rise in the PMI in December was mainly driven by stronger inflows of new business and a "solid" increase in stocks of purchases. Movements in both mainly reflected Brexit preparations by manufacturers and their clients, Markit said, as output also increased, but at a slower pace than seen the month before.

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