LONDON, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- British manufacturers reported a near-record increase in stocks last month so as to mitigate potential Brexit-related supply chain disruption, according to a survey released on Wednesday.
The IHS Markit/CIPS Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) showed the business activity of the manufacturing sector increased to a six-month high at 54.2 in December, up from 53.6 in November.
The rise in the PMI level during December was mainly driven by a solid increase in stocks of purchases, according to the survey. The increase rate of stock-building was the second-strongest since the survey began in 1992.
It said that uncertainty regarding the potential impact of Brexit influenced manufacturers' purchasing activity, stock levels and business confidence in December.
"Although manufacturers forecast growth over the coming year, confidence remains at a low ebb. Manufacturing will therefore be entering 2019 on a less than ideal footing with Brexit uncertainty having intensified considerably," said Rob Dobson, director at IHS Markit.