Activity plunged in August to the lowest levels since July 2012, according to the latest factory PMI survey
The report found that EU-based customers are shunning British manufacturers as the risk of no-deal Brexit mounts, rerouting supply chains away from the UK as the likelihood of border disruption after 31 October increases.
Economists said the drop in the UK factory PMI, to just 47.4, was a very worrying sign, indicating manufacturing is in recession.
Make UK, the industry body, warned that Brexit worries were “seriously undermining” the sector.
European manufacturing also contracted last month, dragged back by a stark slump in German factory output. Spain, Italy, Ireland and Austria also suffered falling output, while the picture brightened in France.
Argentina has been forced to introduce currency controls, after the peso plunged alarmingly in recent weeks.
Under the plan, companies will need permission to access the foreign exchange markets, and must repatriate overseas earnings, while individuals will be restricted about how any dollars they can buy.
The pound has tumbled by a cent against the US dollar to a two-week low, on rumours of a snap general election. This has pushed the FTSE 100 up up over 1%, hitting a one-month high this morning.