27 November 2003 | David Arminas
The decline in purchasing salaries is slowing down and stability is returning, according to the latest figures from recruitment firm Purcon.
The average salary for all purchasers in September was £36,487, 1.1 per cent less than the same time last year.
But this is up from £35,905 in June and also up from £36,150 in March.
Jerry Smith, director of Purcon, expects salaries to increase year-on-year from the next quarter.
"I expect the early signs of recovery will increase salaries over the next two quarters as the effect of what appears to be a more bouyant economy feeds through," he said.
"I also expect the average salary to pass the previous September 2002 high watermark of £36,902 this March."
Assistant buyers, on £19,988, and purchasing managers, on £65,156, have already surpassed their salaries of a year ago by 8 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.
The big losers are senior buyers and purchasing executives with four to seven years' experience, whose titles include senior procurement specialist, contracts manager and planning controller.
Their salaries are around 4 per cent down on the year, with senior buyers and purchasing executives earning £31,748 and £41,498 respectively.
Despite the improving economy, Smith doesn't expect a return of the 8 per cent growth rates that appeared in 2002.
Purchasers in the services industries received an average of 15.7 per cent of their salary as a bonus on top of their pay, the highest for any sector.
"I think we will see rates of around 1 to 2 per cent as bonuses kick in this year," Smith said.
Those in the chemicals and petroleum industries were at the bottom, getting only 5.7 per cent of their salary as a bonus.
But questions still remain over the economic recovery.
The Confederation of British Industry predicted 36,000 manufacturing jobs could be lost by the end of the year.
This was despite the latest CIPS/Reuters purchasing managers index, which indicated that manufacturing reached its highest level in almost four years.