UK manufacturing output hits record low

2 March 2009

02 March 2009 | Jake Kanter

Activity in UK manufacturing remained weak in February and fell at a faster rate than January.

In the latest CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index, the sector recorded 34.7 in February, compared with 35.8 posted a month earlier. A figure below 50 demonstrates contraction.

Output reached a record low of 31.4 last month, down from 35.4 registered in January. The rate of contraction for new orders slowed but remained close to the record lows posted at the end of 2008. New export orders declined sharply, with reduced demand from East Asia, the US and the Middle East.

Employment activity registered another survey low, contracting for the eleventh consecutive month. Economic conditions - described as "severe" - and efforts to reduce costs were to blame for the job losses.

Supplier delivery times improved for the fifth month in a row, as falling demand for raw materials eased the pressure on vendor capacity.

A separate study released today by manufacturing body the EEF found factory output and new orders hit record lows in the first two months of 2009. The survey also forecast the loss of 140,000 manufacturing jobs this year.

* Further coverage of PMI reports is available at


London SW1E
Circa £62-68k depending on experience, with attractive benefits
Girls' Day School Trust
Chelmsford, Essex
Up to £44,000 per annum
Essex County Council
CIPS Knowledge
Find out more with CIPS Knowledge:
  • best practice insights
  • guidance
  • tools and templates