Export orders falling fast

Export orders falling fast
Report finds UK exporters hit by rising pound; home demand falls. Alex Mayhew-Smith British exporting manufacturers are seeing orders falling at the fastest rate since November 1995 as the strong pound makes it harder for companies to compete in overseas markets. The latest report from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said that while exporters are hardest hit, there are also signs that domestic demand is falling. The price of DRAM modules fell for the second consecutive month and for SRAMs it was the fourth month of dropping prices. Power supply manufacturer Coutant Lambda said it has seen manufacturing slowing down a little in the UK. “There was strong growth last year which can’t go on forever,” said Adam Raviz, managing director at Coutant Lambda. Exports to Europe were still doing well, however, he said. A spokeswoman for contract manufacturer Celestica said that there had not been a downturn in its UK manufacturing but the company has had to be “slightly more competitive in its pricing” to win contracts. Some analysts are already warning of a recession within the next year. However, Cambridge Econometrics, the economic forecasting group, predicted a shortlived manufacturing recession with the sector recovering in 1999. Frank Coultard, director of the Printed Circuit Interconnection Federation said: “Fabricators are having a rough time at the moment. There has also been a lull in the cellular phones market.” Coultard said there were several reasons for the manufacturing problems and the strong pound was not helping. Job losses are also beginning to be felt by the manufacturing sector, having fallen by the fastest rate since January 1993. The Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) has also warned that export markets are getting worse. It anticipates the sixth consecutive quarterly fall in export orders, which is being reflected in falling output and redundancies.


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