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British manufacturers have never felt so downbeat

A survey by the influential CBI has painted a somewhat depressing picture of the UK manufacturing sector where hopes and expectations for the future have never been lower. While recent surveys have been expectedly low there was hope that the more recent surveys, conducted after the UK and worldwide rescue package was announced, could have at least injected some confidence back into the UK market. But this seems very much a forlorn hope at the moment.

It seems that a number of sectors, including furniture, building materials and electronics are all reporting worse than expected trading conditions and nearly every person surveyed expected the situation to get much worse before it gets better. This survey also raises the likelihood of a jump in company closures as more and more struggle to stay in business.

While there is a something of a lifeline on the way in the form of a new lease of life on the money market, this may have come too late for many companies now perched on the edge. Even a reduction in interest rates by the Bank of England would probably have little short term impact, or at least not enough to save those teetering on the brink right now.

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