The Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI) for the final quarter of 2019 showed a further deterioration in the UK’s sub-contract manufacturing market. It fell 23% from what had already been a poor third quarter.
Overall, the market was down 56% on the final quarter of 2018, with the index at its lowest levels since it was first published; it fell to 66 (the baseline figure of 100 represents the average value of the sub-contract market between 2014 and 2018).
The biggest change over the quarter was in fabrication, which had previously been one of the strongest performers but fell 36%.
Machining, in comparison, fell by a ‘relatively modest’ 15%; other processes, such as electronics and moulding, actually saw a slight rise.
Fabrication still accounted for 41% of the market though, with machining on 38%.
Heavy vehicles and construction vehicles were by far the strongest performers in the final quarter, reaching levels over 17-times higher than at the start of the year.
Other sectors that were up on the previous quarter included consumer products and industrial machinery.
The CMI is produced by sourcing specialist Qimtek (www.qimtek.co.uk
) and reflects the total purchasing budget for out-sourced manufacturing of companies looking to place business in any given month.
Commenting on the figures, Qimtek owner Karl Wigart said: “It was a disappointing end to a disappointing year.
“An early rally in February and March looked promising but was just a brief uptick on what proved to be a consistent downward trend.
"The latter part of the year was a period of particular uncertainty for manufacturing and that was reflected in the Index.”