Manufacturers downbeat about prospects

Manufacturers downbeat about prospects
Roy Rubenstein
Electrical and electronics manufacturers are more pessimistic about business than other UK manufacturing sectors. This is one of the findings of the latest Confederation of British Industry (CBI) quarterly survey.
For all manufacturing segments, 45 per cent are more pessimistic about their general business situation than they were four months ago, while five per cent are more optimistic – giving a negative balance of 40 per cent.
In contrast, 59 per cent are pessimistic in the electrical (industrial and consumer) and electronics industrial sectors. Only electronics consumer goods bucked the trend with an eight per cent negative balance.
The findings are in marked contrast to the views of Anthony Parish, director general of the Federation of Electronics Industry.
“Our industry, despite localised difficulty caused by DRAM, held up very well in components and products culminating in the astonishing end-of-year sales of mobile phones,” said Parish. “The FEI is quite bullish [about the industry’s prospects]. That’s not to say profits will be huge but we are better prepared than some industries.”

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