No end in sight to misery of factory jobs cull

FACTORY BOSSES in every region of England and Wales expect to cut jobs in the coming months to cope with a surge in their costs, the CBI warns today.

The UK's largest employers' body forecast that 26,000 more manufacturing jobs would be axed in the first three months of the year - an annual rate of more than 100,000. London and the South-east are likely to bear the largest falls, with "considerable" declines expected in the North-west, the East Midlands, the North-east and the east of England. Only Scotland will avoid employment cuts.

It said that costs had increased "sharply" over the past quarter while confidence has fallen in most parts of the UK, according to its survey of 736 firms conducted with Experian, the business strategy group.

There was little sign of improvement in employment, as the CBI said an average of 26,250 jobs were cut in every quarter last year. However, it said that was still short of the losses experienced during the steep manufacturing recession of 2001 to 2003. The survey showed manufacturers blamed the increased cost of oil, metal and other raw materials.

Doug Godden, the head of economic analysis at the CBI, said: "Manufacturing confidence has been hit in most parts of the UK. Costs have risen sharply and job cuts are on the horizon. There is a mixed picture across the UK economy as a whole and the Bank of England should hold interest rates steady for the time being. This survey highlights the renewed difficulties facing important parts of the economy and there is certainly no justification for a rate rise at this time."

Peter Gutmann, of Experian, said: "The fall in business confidence and export optimism highlights uncertainties among manufacturing firms following weak trends in export orders in recent months. While many economic forecasts assume a robust pick-up in exports this year, firms at the sharp end seem no longer to believe that a buoyant international backdrop will necessarily produce this."

The data is a breakdown of headline numbers already published by the CBI and is unlikely to influence the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, which starts its two-day interest rate meeting today.

All 50 City economists polled by Reuters expected the MPC to leave rates on hold, although a slim majority forecast one more rise this year. Howard Archer, at Global Insight, said: "The odds have shifted towards the next move being a rise in rates, which we believe is likely around May." But Ciaran Barr, at Deutsche Bank, said: "We believe that the next move in rates will be downwards, the first cut coming in the second half of this year."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future