Shrinking order books will force Britain’s manufacturing sector to cut output over the next three months, the CBI said.
The employers’ organisation blamed weak demand for the worsening business climate for industry but said that exports were so far holding up despite the fresh turmoil in the eurozone.
In its monthly snapshot of activity in UK factories, the CBI found that only 19% of firms reported order books above normal against 36% who said they were below normal. The balance of -17 points compared with -8 points in April.
A quarter of companies questioned (25%) said they planned to increase output while 28% said they expected production cutbacks. The balance of -3 points was a marked turnaround from April when a balance of +24% forecast rising output.