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Economy Technology

UK economy ‘shrinking’ as boost from stockpiling fades

Data to be released today will show UK manufacturing slumped in April as the boost from Brexit stockpiling evaporated and car factories halted work, boding ill for the economy in the second quarter.

The numbers are set to show that production fell by 1.4pc from March, the biggest decline since the start of 2017, according to a Bloomberg survey. With little support from construction and the dominant services industry, the economy probably shrank for a second consecutive month.

Factories ramped up output in the first quarter as companies stockpiled goods to avoid supply disruptions ahead of the original March 29 deadline to leave the European Union.

But with Brexit now delayed until October, orders are being scaled back and demand met from products piled up in warehouses.

Car makers including BMW and Peugeot went ahead with planned Brexit-related shutdowns in April and gross domestic product is forecast to have contracted by 0.1pc.

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