UK manufacturers are struggling in the face of soft domestic and overseas demand, and are “extremely gloomy” as they are hampered by Brexit, a senior economist has warned, writes Ian McConnell.

The comments from Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY ITEM Club think-tank, followed the Confederation of British Industry’s latest industrial trends survey.

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The CBI survey signals a slump in total and export order books this month. Manufacturing output volumes were flat in the three months to September.

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But manufacturers expect a sharp fall in output volumes in the next three months. Output expectations were the weakest since April 2009.

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Anna Leach, CBI deputy chief economist, said: “UK manufacturers have become noticeably gloomier in September. This likely reflects a combination of heightened Brexit uncertainty and the ongoing global slowdown in manufacturing.”

Mr Archer said: “Domestic demand for manufactured goods is being hampered by businesses’ caution over investment, which is limiting expenditure on capital goods. There also appears to be some consumer reluctance to spend on big-ticket manufactured items even though consumer spending has largely been resilient and purchasing power has risen appreciably.”