London, Sep 7 (IANS) The economic downturn in China has compounded pressures on British manufacturers and have hit their output and exports, a media report said on Monday.
Sales to the domestic consumer market and booming car production have not been enough to make up for a drop in overseas demand, the EEF Manufacturing Organisation said.
According to EEF, manufacturers making mechanical equipment have been particularly hard hit as waning orders from China coincide with flagging demand from the oil and gas sector, itself hit by plunging oil prices, The Guardian reported.
EEF chief economist Lee Hopley said that while the overall British economy looked set for “solid” growth this year, manufacturers were contending with a lower oil price, fragile eurozone growth and now the blow to global investor confidence from turmoil in China.
For the first time in more than two years, there were more companies reporting a drop in output than a rise, an EEF survey showed.
A poll of 442 manufacturers showed that export orders fell to a six-year low in the past three months. Domestic orders were also down, hurt largely by weakness at those manufacturers reliant on the oil and gas sector.
Looking ahead, more than a third of companies reported signs of improving demand in Europe – Britain’s biggest export market – but the proportion of companies eyeing growth opportunities in Asia had fallen.