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Monday 19th of April 2010
February 2, 2009    

UK manufacturing sector continues to contract

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by Kay Murchie
”UK

The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has revealed that activity in the UK manufacturing sector slowed during January but was a marginal improvement on December.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and Markit, who collate the information, said the figure improved slightly to 35.8 from December’s figure of 34.9 and November’s record low of 34.5.

However, January’s figure is still the third lowest level since the PMI series commenced in 1992.

Rob Dobson of Markit said the figures highlight the appalling market conditions that UK manufacturers are currently facing.

However, on a positive note, Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec, believes that conditions may be starting to improve.

Meanwhile, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has revealed that jobs are disappearing at small and medium-sized manufacturing companies at the fastest pace in 20 years.

As the UK grapples with what is expected to be a long-lasting recession, SMEs can expect a tough first quarter as demand for goods from UK firms plummeted in the last quarter of 2008.

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