UK manufacturing jobs declined at their lowest rate for two years in the past quarter, despite a fall in demand for manufactured goods over the same period, a new report has found.
Research published by the CBI showed that 5,000 jobs were cut in the three months to July, compared with the longer-term average of 30,000 per quarter since 2003.
The survey also showed an increase in factory orders for a third quarter in a row, but at a slower rate than the previous six months.
Four of the UK’s eleven regions saw an increase in employment, with the East Midlands and the North West leading the way. West Midlands, London, the South East and the South West were the hardest hit areas.
The CBI predicts further job cuts at a rate of about 8,000 in the current quarter, with the South West and the West Midlands likely to be the hardest hit, with around 3,000 posts being lost in each region.
Doug Godden, head of economic and fiscal policy at the CBI, said: “The manufacturing sector’s revival is continuing, though the rate of growth has slowed somewhat. With more firms now working flat out than at any time since early 2006, there has been a very welcome effect on jobs.”
Looking ahead, Godden added: “Higher interest rates at home, increased oil prices and sterling’s strength against the dollar will pose challenges to the sector over the next six months.”