Downturn Hitting All Corners Of UK

Economic Downturn

08.07.2008

The business downturn is spreading to all corners of the UK with few regions escaping the gloom, the BCC's latest figures reveal.

Among services firms, only one region out of 12 - the West Midlands - saw more companies reporting higher orders rather than a decline.

The worst-hit area was Scotland, with a balance of 18% showing falling orders, the survey showed.

Manufacturers fared little better with firms in only four regions - Wales, Northern Ireland, the East and the North-East - recording higher orders on balance.

Lower profits are also expected by services companies in Scotland, the North East, Wales, the East and London. This view is shared by manufacturers in Scotland, the North-West, the East and London.

The soaring cost of raw materials and fuel meanwhile is causing companies to cut back investment in plant and machinery for their businesses. Manufacturing firms in five of the 12 regions are scaling back, with the sharpest spending declines seen in the South-East.