Manufacturers forecast 26,000 job losses in UK

Manufacturing costs rose sharply over the past three months in all but one UK region and companies now predict 26,000 first quarter job losses, according to the CBI.

Only Scotland looks set to escape employment cuts. The South East and London will bear the largest fall, with considerable declines also expected in the North West, the East Midlands, the North East and the East of England.

While 26,000 jobs is a large figure it is still short of the losses seen during the steep manufacturing recession of 2001 to 2003.

The price rises of oil, metal and other raw materials seen in 2004 led to overall manufacturing costs rising sharply over the past three months, with only the South East and London avoiding an increase.

Doug Godden, CBI head of economic analysis, said the survey highlighted the renewed difficulties facing important parts of the economy and there was no justification for an interest rate rise from the Bank of England.

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