The engineering sector has fallen into serious recession, a leading survey is expected to confirm early next month.
The Engineering Employers Federation’s Business Trends survey for the third quarter of 1998, to be published on 6 October, will show a marked deterioration on the second three- month period the worst since the EEF started the reviews in 1994.
While the full extent of the downturn will not be known until the results from all the EEF’s regional branches have been computed, the returns to date have shown all six indicators used in the survey output, domestic orders, exports, employment, investment intentions and capacity utilisation are down on the preceding quarter.
The continuing and worsening financial crisis in the Far East and the strong pound meant that exports from the sector have continued to slide, while cheap imports from Asia and the rest of Europe have made deep inroads into the home market.
Across manufacturing as a whole, job losses are running at more than 300 a day. The north east is likely to be the hardest hit region, with two industries offshore fabrication and textiles expected to shed at least 15,000 jobs in the next few months.