Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Recovery Hopes Are Hit

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Recovery Hopes Are Hit

Article excerpt

HOPES of a swift economic recovery remain on hold after more gloomy data highlighted plummeting house prices, mortgage approvals and manufacturing performance.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply's (CIPS) latest purchasing managers' index said manufacturing activity remained near a record low after the pound's recent slump had failed to boost order books.

The reading of 34.9 in December was the eighth consecutive fall and close to the lowest level in the survey's 17-year history.

Tony Sarginson, regional manager of manufacturers' organisation EEF, said this year would be unlikely to herald an economic recovery, even though there were "pockets of activity" in the local defence, railways and renewable energy sectors.

He said: "2009 will be a difficult year. Consumer confidence will drive the recovery but for that to happen the banks have got to start lending again."

The country's economic woes were also highlighted by data from Halifax which revealed a 16. …

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