LONDON, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The British manufacturing Purchasing Manager Index (PMI), a gauge of industry activities, registered its weakest performance at 49.2 in April since March 2013, survey provider Markit released on Tuesday.
The index fell below the critical no-change mark of 50.0, indicating the British manufacturing activity contracted.
The weakening performance of the manufacturing economy was mainly felt in the consumer and investment goods sectors, with both registering declines in production and new work received.
Although the intermediate goods sector managed to sustain the growth of output and new order inflows, rates of expansion were weaker than in the prior month.
"The UK Manufacturing PMI fell below its critical 50.0 mark for the first time in over three years in April, highlighting a further deepening of the sector's downturn at the start of the second quarter," Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compilers Markit commented.
He said on this evidence manufacturing production is now falling at a quarterly pace of around 1 percent, and will likely act as a drag on the economy again during the second quarter and putting greater pressure on the service sector to sustain GDP growth.