British manufacturing data fell further in the third quarter, according to a new report from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
The BCC’s quarterly economic survey, based on nearly 7,500 responses from firms across various sectors, found that nearly all of the key national manufacturing balances remained stagnant or fell in the three months to October, with the balance of manufacturing firms exporting their products reaching a six-year low.
The business group said that the responses “paint[ed] a picture of prolonged, slow manufacturing growth”, with BCC director general John Longworth calling manufacturing “the real area of concern” in the British economy.
“Confidence is low, as growth continued to fall, and our measure of manufacturing export growth hit a six year low,” he said. “Services growth, on the other hand, dipped only slightly and overall trends show the sector remains relatively strong and stable.”
Longworth added: “Global uncertainty, weakened demand from China and the strength of the pound are some of the factors likely hindering manufacturers’ performance. If the manufacturing sector has entered a prolonged period of slow growth, then closing the trade deficit and improving the current account deficit will become more difficult.”