17 July 2003 | Colleen Harris
The average salary for purchasers has fallen, according to recruitment firm Purcon, although salaries are expected to rise again in the autumn.
But increased company bonuses resulted in high-level directors and managers enjoying salary rises of 7 per cent since last March.
The average salary for a purchasing director was £92,010.
According to the latest survey, covering the first six months of the year, the average salary in June was £35,905, a drop of 2.4 per cent from January.
Purchasing executives with four to seven years' experience, dealing with senior management levels inside and outside companies and managing higher levels of accountability and strategic involvement, have suffered the biggest decline.
They are earning £40,946, 4.6 per cent less than last March.
Jerry Smith, director of Purcon, blamed economic pressure for the fall. Salaries were lagging behind the economic cycle.
He told SM: "I don't think salaries will fall further, but after October I expect to see a slow upward trend again, probably no more than around 3 per cent.
"This is because the level of activity we're seeing is stronger than it has been."
By regions, north-west England and Wales took the biggest hit, with salaries dropping by 5 per cent, followed by Scotland and Northern Ireland with a decline of nearly 4 per cent.
However, some regions saw healthy increases. Salaries in East Anglia rose by 6.5 per cent, the highest of any region.
Earnings in the north-east rose by 2.7 per cent.
The survey also indicated that fewer junior or assistant buyers and executives were receiving bonuses and when they did the amounts were lower.
It is based on information collected by Purcon including details from people placed in jobs and through company surveys.