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Yorkshire business activity hit by EU Referendum uncertainty

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Business activity in Yorkshire & Humber declined last month for the first time in nearly four years, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Regional PMI report.

Linked to the uncertain economic climate generated by the EU Referendum, new business orders fell in July at the fastest rate since the financial crisis in 2009. It is the first Lloyds Bank Regional PMI report since the EU referendum.

The Yorkshire & Humber’s PMI registered at 49.8 in July, down from 54.0 in June, showing a contraction in output for the first time since October 2012.

However, the rate of decline in the region was less steep than the UK average, which registered at 47.5. A reading of above 50 signals growth, while a reading below 50 signals contraction.

The Lloyds Bank Regional PMI, or Purchasing Managers’ Index, is the leading economic health-check of UK regions. The index is based on responses from manufacturers and services businesses about the value of goods and services produced during July compared with a month earlier.

Greater uncertainty among businesses was also reflected in a further downturn in employment, with the rate of regional job losses accelerating from June.

The weakness of the pound also affected the price of raw materials, contributing to the sharpest rise in company costs in five years.

Leigh Taylor, regional director for SME Banking in Yorkshire, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The latest data signal a gloomy picture for businesses in Yorkshire.

“Activity contracted in July amid the sharpest decline in new orders since March 2009, while jobs were cut at the quickest rate in more than three years. Clearly, the uncertain economic outlook is affecting Yorkshire-based firms.”

“We are committed to supporting Yorkshire businesses as they navigate the post-EU Referendum landscape.”

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