UK manufacturing jobs fell at the fastest rate in seven years during November as low sales squeezed the sector, according to the IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index.
The index fell to 48.9 last month from 49.6 in October. A figure below 50 represents contraction.
It was the seventh month in a row that the UK manufacturing sector has shrunk, as it continues to be buffeted by political uncertainty and a global slowdown. Output and new orders fell in the month, as businesses scaled back production.
While many firms had stockpiled for Brexit, the delay to the UK's departure from the EU meant that they could meet most orders with existing inventories, which shrunk at their fastest pace in more than two years.
Commenting on the index, Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), said: 'A heavy sense of inevitability hung around the sector in November as it continued to suffer the effects of a lethal cocktail of Brexit uncertainty, slowing global growth and an impending General Election.
'Supply chain managers cited weakened domestic demand and one of the biggest falls in export orders for seven years as companies unravelled their pre-Brexit stocks.'