Employers expect to cut jobs in the manufacturing industry in the next three months, according to one of gloomiest polls of business confidence to be published this year.
The latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey showed a net balance of 10 per cent of industrial firms say they will have to cut employment – fuelling fears the so-far encouraging rate of growth of job creation in the private sector may not be sustained, just as serious cuts in the public sector workforce really begin.
In response, a senior Bank of England policymaker hinted that he may vote for a further round of direct injections of money into the economy.
Overall, manufacturers reported that they were less optimistic than three months ago, with a net balance of minus 16 per cent, the first fall in sentiment since July 2009.
The downbeat CBI survey comes after second-quarter growth figures showed the economy flatlining, with growth of only 0.2 per cent. Manufacturing output fell between April and June, by 0.3 per cent.