20 September 2001 | Robin Parker
Last week's terrorist attacks in the US could plunge the UK manufacturing sector into a prolonged recession, an industry analyst has warned.
The sector contracted for the sixth consecutive month in August, according to the CIPS purchasing managers' index. The manufacturing index fell from 47 to 46.4, further below the 50 mark that indicates no change, pushing the sector into recession for the month for the first time since early 1999.
A spokesman for NTC Research, which compiles the index, said that September's US index, for the National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM), should indicate the impact of last week's tragedy.
"A lot of the slowdown across Europe over the past six months has been led by the US, but the NAPM's index picked up strongly last month," he said. "The influence of last week's events remains to be seen, but the impact on the US will have repercussions in Britain."