Slowdown in manufacturing eases

Engineering Employers Federation says the slowdown in the manufacturing sector
has eased, but cutbacks in employment will persist for the rest of 2002.

data shows jobs were cut by five per cent across the sector – around 90,000
jobs. The electronics and electrical industries have borne the brunt of the
losses with over 43,000 jobs being shed.

it forecasts that the second half of 2002 will see an improvement in the

Chief Economist Steven Radley said: "Manufacturers are starting to look
forward with a little more optimism as the recovery in the US and elsewhere
feeds through to fuller order books.

prices, margins and cashflow remain under intense pressure. A cut in interest
rates and action in the Budget to reduce cost pressures and stimulate higher
investment are needed to turn the recent easing of manufacturing decline into a
firm recovery."

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