Manufacturing shrinks as Brexit stockpiling halts BBC ; FT

  • The UK manufacturing sector contracted in May for the first time since July 2016 as stockpiling eased ahead of Brexit, an influential survey by HIS Markit/CIPS shows.
  • The manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was 49.4, down from 53.1 in April when it was lifted by stockpiling ahead of the UK’s expected EU exit.
  • The reading of 49.4 on the index was well below the figure expected by economists polled by Reuters who had forecast a reading of 52, which would have meant the sector was still expanding.
  • Thomas Pugh, UK economist at Capital Economics, said manufacturing was likely to remain subdued and that the “hangover from Brexit preparations in the sector will weigh on GDP” in the second quarter.

Jeremy Hunt would back no-deal Brexit ‘with heavy heart’ – The Guardian

  • Jeremy Hunt has pledged to push for a no-deal Brexit if required should he become prime minister, as pressure grew on Conservative party grandees to find ways to trim a bloated field of 13 candidates so as to speed up the race to succeed Theresa May.
  • Speaking later on Today, Hunt was asked whether he could back a no-deal departure. As a former remainer, the foreign secretary faces pressure to appeal to more Eurosceptic Tory MPs. The list of candidates will be whittled down by MPs to a final pair, to be decided on by party members.
  • Asked if that meant potentially seeking to leave without a deal on 31 October, the latest Brexit deadline, Hunt said: “I would be prepared to do it in extremis. But I wouldn’t do it if there was a prospect of a better deal. And I think there is a prospect of a better deal, and I think it’s possible to get one before 31 October, although I don’t pretend it’s going to be easy.”