The Markit purchasing managers' index for UK manufacturing in July made for depressing reading, with a drop from 48.4 in June to 45.4 in July. As Markit put it:
"Output and new orders both contracted sharply during July, as companies faced weaker demand from domestic and export clients. The decline in production was the steepest for 40 months, with contractions recorded in both the intermediate and investment goods sectors. In contrast, output rose slightly at consumer goods producers."
How did it compare with elsewhere? The Eurozone manufacturing PMI was at a 37-month low of 44 in July, down from 45.1 in June. The US index was stronger, at 51.4, down from 52.5 in June. The global manufacturing PMI was 48.4, down from 49.1 in June. So manufacturing is struggling everywhere, but particularly in the UK and the Eurozone.