Britain’s decision to leave the EU has led to a “dramatic deterioration” in economic activity, not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Data from Markit’s Purchasing Manager’s Index, or PMI, shows a fall to 47.7 in July, the lowest level since April in 2009. A reading below 50 indicates contraction.
Both manufacturing and service sectors saw a decline in output and orders.
However, exports picked up, driven by the weakening of the pound.
Neil Wilson, markets analyst at ETX Capital, said he thought the UK was “heading for a recession again”, and that the data would almost certainly prompt the Bank of England to roll out further stimulus. Although growth dropped to an 18-month low, the overall pace was in line with pre-Brexit trends, and employment across the eurozone rose.