LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – - British factory orders shrank at the fastest pace in three years in the August-October period and a measure of optimism among manufacturers was the weakest since 2016’s Brexit vote, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) quarterly order book balance stood at -6, the lowest since the three months to October 2015 and a sharp fall from +15 in July.
The CBI’s monthly order book balance also fell to -6 in October from -1 in September, below the median forecast for it to remain at -1 in a Reuters poll of economists.
“This is a sobering set of figures demanding immediate action at home and abroad,” CBI economist Rain Newton-Smith said.
She called on British finance minister Philip Hammond to help factories in his Oct. 29 budget statement.
“Planned investment is being scaled back in the face of deepening Brexit uncertainty, so it’s vital that the chancellor incentivises manufacturers to spend in areas that will help them become more productive.”
(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by David Milliken) ((+44 20 7542 7748; email@example.com)