U.K. Manufacturing Weakness May Persist for Some Time: Chart

Markit’s U.K. factory index plunged to 50.8 in February, close to the 50 level that divides expansion from contraction. Even more worrying, the forward-looking measure of new orders is at just 50.2, indicating more weakness ahead, particularly with the uncertainty surrounding the “Brexit” vote this year. While manufacturing is only a small part of the economy, the drop in the index puts more emphasis on the gauges of construction on Wednesday and services, the biggest part of the economy, on Thursday.

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