staff and supply shortages have hit an all-time low...
Supermarkets have been dealing with empty shelves as a result of the "pingdemic" and supply issues.
The IHS Markit/CIPS Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for August fell to 55.3 from 59.2 in July, marking a six-month low.
Shortages of supplies on the shelves | Source: Reuters
According to analysts, any reading above 50 indicates growth, although the recovery from the pandemic is losing steam.
Duncan Brock, CIPS group director, noted that these figures are a "stark warning". The "abnormally large slowdown in overall activity" shows that the increased growth levels earlier this summer are "not sustainable"
"The worst shortages of staff and materials on record are mostly to blame," he added. "Despite Covid-19 containment measures easing to the lowest since the pandemic began, rising virus case numbers are deterring many forms of spending, notably by consumers, and have hit growth via worsening staff and supply shortages," said IHS Markit economist Chris Williamson.
Self-isolation requirements for close contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 has made it hard for supermarkets to maintain staffing levels. However, these rules have been dropped in the past week for those who have been "double-jabbed" and had both vaccinations against this virus.
Self-isolation according to the NHS track & trace app | Source: Financial Times
Kieran Tompkins, assistant economist at Capital Economics, made a note that the latest survey showed the recovery is slowing more than previously was mentioned.
"The economy struggled to gain fresh momentum in August, despite the apparent easing of the 'pingdemic'," he said. He noted that this constituted a "downside risk" of projections that the economy would recover to pre-pandemic levels by October.
A different survey showed that manufacturing levels eased for three months to August, but were still low to historical standards. Stock levels were reduced to a new low for the third month consecutively, according to CBI Industrial Trends Surveys every month.