New research has suggested that UK manufacturers are preparing for Brexit by stockpiling raw materials at a record pace. The research by IHS Markit/CIPS found that companies were stockpiling goods in January at the fastest pace in the survey’s 27-year history. Overall, the survey’s Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 52.8 last month from 54.2 in December. The IHS survey also showed that business optimism has sunk to a 30-month low. Jobs were also lost in the manufacturing sector last month – the first cuts since the immediate aftermath of the referendum result.