Growth in the UK’s manufacturing sector slowed unexpectedly in November, as factories suffer with the weak pound in the wake of the EU referendum.

The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 53.4, down 0.8 points since last month but still above the 50 point mark indicating expansion. The PMI figure dipped below 50 in July as confidence was spooked in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote.

IHS Markit said the rate of growth remained “solid”, despite it being the second month of declining confidence in the sector.

Rob Dobson, senior economist at IHS Markit, said:

“Scratching beneath the surface of the data shows that rising consumer demand and business-to-business spending is helping manufacturing to grow at a robust clip.”

“The concern is that higher costs may in time offset any positive effect of the weaker exchange rate, especially given that export order book growth has already waned markedly from September’s five-and-a-half year high,” he added.

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