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CIPS - market conditions 'brutal'

Market conditions are the worst since the attacks on the 9/11 attacks, according to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) in its latest monthly report.

The monthly CIPS Purchasing Managers' Index shows growth in the sector, rated on a scale from 1 to 100, with 50 indicating no change.

The Output Index had a score of 42.4, indicating a contraction in the market similar to last month.

The New Export Orders Index, was 43.5, its lowest reading since September 2001. For employment, October's seasonally adjusted Employment Index recorded a reading of 40.5, broadly unchanged from September’s seventeen-and-a-half year survey record low.

CIPS director of professional practice, Roy Ayliffe said: "Conditions for UK manufacturers remained brutal in October, as the turmoil in the world's financial markets showed no signs of abating.

"Purchasing managers in the sector have now reported six consecutive months of decline in production, endorsing industry reports that the UK is now technically in recession.

"While weak domestic demand continued to severely hamper new business prospects, October also saw new export orders slump to levels last seen in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

"Faced with this barrage of obstacles, small and medium-sized manufacturers fared the worst, while the government seeks to introduce measures to protect them.

"We expect the dramatic drop in cost inflation this month to embolden the MPC to cut interest rates."

Some hope was shown in inflation, which eased in October.

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