Delivery times for British companies increased unprecedented in January as a result of Brexit and COVID measures. That’s what market researcher Markit says. Only in April last year were delivery times longer, but many factories were closed.
Despite the trade deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the Brexit has suddenly become much more red tape for hauliers at the border. In addition, anyone travelling from Great Britain to France has to show a negative Coronation test, which means that lorry drivers have lost extra time.
With the exception of April 2020, Markit considers that this is the largest delay in deliveries since measurements began 30 years ago.
That is bad news for the British economy as a whole. The growth of the last few months in the manufacturing industry was almost halted due to the Brexit and the new virus variety, for example, chief economist Chris Williamson draws up from the indicators Markit has developed for economic activity.
This threat of stagnation is in addition to the disastrous consequences for the services sector of the resurgence of the coronavirus. Because a British mutation of the virus may be much more contagious, people in England are only allowed to go out for messages, essential work or sport until mid-February. Cafés and many non-essential shops remain closed.
The economic activity of industry and services together was, according to Markit, the lowest since May last year. The so-called purchasing manager index for the two sectors together reached a level of 40, which is a sharp drop of the 50.4 in December. Every figure under 50 points to shrinkage, below that to growth.