The outlook for the UK’s manufacturing sector appears to be worsening as the CBI’s monthly Industrial Trends Survey for September showed a sharp deterioration in total order book levels.
“Manufacturers have been hit harder than expected by the economic slowdown with demand falling sharply, and they are not optimistic about the next three months , with output expectations having fallen further,” said Ian McCafferty, chief economic adviser to the CBI.
The survey found that output expectations have fallen to a seven year low, with only 20 per cent of manufacturers saying they expect orders to be up over the next three months but 36 per cent saying they expect these to be down.
All the steel stockholders and processors in the UK are reporting low order intake, with short time working in effect at a few companies. The customers that are ordering are taking lower quantities and expecting short lead times as they keep a "tight reign" on inventory.