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Commenting on today’s PMI figures, Francesco Arcangeli, Economist at Make UK said:


“UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index hit a 13-month high scoring a positive 55.1 in March up from 52.1 in February. Despite the very good result, the index is linked to a new record in terms of stockpiling operations with companies building up quantities of parts and materials to ensure that they can keep trading in the event of a no deal Brexit.


On top of this, news from the other side of the Channel is not cheerful. Eurozone PMI is at its lowest since 2013 and it’s continuing to trend down with a particular gloomy picture coming from the three major economies – Germany, Italy and France.


The slowdown experienced by the UK's main trading partner, Brexit uncertainty and stockpiling build-up pointing to a necessary production slowdown in the nearby future risk once again to create a perfect storm for the UK manufacturing sector and the UK economy as a whole.


This link to stockpiling further clarifies the importance of the need for Parliament and this Government to immediately find a solution which can give industry the clarity it so desperately needs.”