Manufacturers facing toughest times for 17 years

Posted on 2 Oct 2008 by The Manufacturer

The UK manufacturing sector shrunk during September at the fastest rate in 17 years, according to the latest figures from The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS)/Markit.

The CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index slumped to 41 in September from 45.3 in August – far lower than analysts’ predictions of 45. Figures below 50 denote contraction – occurring, according to the index, for a fifth consecutive month. Both domestic and overseas demand fell sharply, affecting levels of output. Export orders in particular were at their weakest for seven years, with the employment index also dropping, reaching 40.1.
Commenting on the survey, Roy Ayliffe, director of Professional Practice at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, said: “Given the unprecedented chaos in global economies, there was little respite for UK manufacturers in September as the sector suffered the worst operating conditions so far recorded in the survey’s seventeen-year history.”
The figures have, however, renewed hopes that the Bank of England could cut interest rates next week in an attempt to fend off a recession.