July 23, 2019 / 10:20 AM / a month ago

UK new factory orders weakest since financial crisis - CBI

FILE PHOTO: Workers talk inside the factory of precision engineering company Produmax in Shipley, Britain May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - New British factory orders from the home market and abroad fell at their fastest pace since the financial crisis a decade ago in the three months to July, the Confederation of British Industry said, citing worries about Brexit and the global economy.

The survey of 291 manufacturing firms also showed optimism fell at the fastest pace since July 2016 – just after the Brexit referendum – and investment spending plans weakened again.

“With orders, employment, investment, output and business optimism all deteriorating among manufacturers, it’s crucial for the new prime minister to secure a Brexit deal ahead of the October deadline,” CBI Chief Economist Rain Newton-Smith said.

Britain is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31, and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson - the leading contender to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May - has said he is open to leaving without a deal if the EU will not renegotiate.

In July alone the CBI’s quarterly industrial orders index fell to -34 from -15 in June. The median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists had been for another reading of -15.

Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Kate Holton

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