United Kingdom manufacturing sees 'worrying turnaround' as growth slumps

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In the statistics released by National Bureau of Statistic of China, the official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) has fallen to 50.2 in October, down from 50.8 in September. Inventory trends varied, with companies utilising stocks of finished goods to satisfy greater demand whilst rebuilding their input holdings.

"Overall, expansion across the manufacturing sector was still weak", said Zhong Zhengsheng, director of macroeconomic analysis with consultancy CEBM Group, a subsidiary of Caixin Insight Group.

Nevertheless, building companies are still on the lookout for more staff to overcome shortages that have been exacerbated by the Brexit vote and a decline in the number of skilled migrants from eastern Europe looking for work.

The figure was also below the 50.6 reading tipped in a Bloomberg News survey of economists, though above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction.

It pointed out that although output was only slightly lower than in September, inflows of new work fell markedly and at the fastest pace in five months.

The German bunds slumped during European session Thursday after investors have largely shrugged-off the lower-than-expected manufacturing PMI for the month of October, besides, the slight dip in Eurozone counterpart as well. The subindex measuring production and operations prospects was 56.4, unchanged from the previous month.

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Civil engineering in October grew at the strongest pace since July a year ago, offsetting the weakest growth in housebuilding and commercial construction in seven and five months, respectively.

"Despite this, the Irish manufacturing sector showed signs of resilience with solid growth of employment and purchasing activity", he said.

Firms are also taking an "increasingly defensive position", Dobson said. If growth slows to a worrying pace in spring 2019, "Beijing may have to greatly ramp up its easing measures at that time", they said.

Some companies linked slowing demand for new orders from the European Union to Brexit uncertainties, while others focused more attention on rising global trade tensions and weaker demand from the world auto sector. For the PMI calculation the Suppliers' Delivery Times Index is inverted so that it moves in a comparable direction to the other indices. Production and business confidence continued to cool despite stable demand.

Markets care about the data because it is an important indicator of momentum within the economy.

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