U.K. 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, figures Monday are expected to show.
Production fell by 1.4% 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. GDP is forecast to have contracted by 0.1% in April, and purchasing-manager surveys last week suggest there was little if any improvement in May.
There were also downbeat headlines on retail sales in recent days, while Ford Motor Co. announced plans to close its engine factory in South Wales, with the loss of 1,700 jobs. Whoever takes over from Prime Minister Theresa May, who resigned as Conservative Party leader on Friday, will inherit an economy under pressure as Brexit uncertainty continues.
Bloomberg Economics sees growth in the second quarter slowing to 0.2% from 0.5% in the previous three months.