The UK manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to a 38-month low, now standing at 45.4. A PMI of 50 indictates that orders are remaining unchanged, while any lower indicates contraction. A level that low indicates quite severe contraction, worse than any seen since the end of the recession. Worse still is the output index, a subcomponent of the overall index, which has not only fallen to a level not seen since the recession (43.3), but is falling at a rate not seen since then either:
As the chart shows, the ONS' manufacturing stastic tracks closely to the PMI. And given manufacturing makes up 10 per cent of Britain's GDP, there's no good way this story ends.