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Wednesday, 21 November, 2001, 16:27 GMT
UK manufacturing investment slumps
News in brief graphic
Investment by UK manufacturing companies has been cut back sharply as they struggle to survive the current tough economic conditions.

New figures show investment in plant and machinery by manufacturers fell to 3.9bn in the quarter covering the three months to 30 September.

That was a 13% fall from the previous quarter, and 13.3% lower than in the same period last year.

"These figures are shockingly bad and it is now vital for our future competitiveness that we try and preserve levels of investment," said Stephen Radley, chief economist at the Engineering Employers' Federation.

The engineers' body called on the Chancellor Gordon Brown to announce a range of measures to help industry in his pre-budget statement next week.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed overall investment - covering manufacturing, construction and service companies - dropped to 29.3bn over the quarter.

This was a 4.1% fall from the previous three month period, and 2.7% lower than in the same period last year.

See also:

14 Nov 01 | Business
Back to rising unemployment
13 Nov 01 | Business
Manufacturing jobs at risk
11 Oct 01 | Business
'Worse to come' for UK economy
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