Investment languishes as industry awaits an upturn in demand.
The latest CBI Industrial Trends survey shows a further decline in business confidence, with pessimists outweighing optimists by a balance of 11%. This reflects the downward trend in economic growth, which has slowed from an annual 4% in 1994 to a modest 2.4% in the third quarter of this year. Increased taxes, interest rates and weaker demand from the US have all played their part. In consequence, stock levels have built up.