ADVERSE weather contributed to a weakening of the Yorkshire economy at the start of 2010, according to a key survey.
The latest Purchase Managers Index showed jobs continued to be lost – albeit at a slower rate – during the first weeks of the new year while increased costs put the squeeze on profit margins.
The headline business activity index, which measures the combined output of manufacturing and service sectors, fell back markedly during January – posting a reading of 52.0 from 55.8 in December, 2009.
The poll suggested that rates of expansion were undermined to some extent by the January snow, which led to transport disruption, delivery delays and cancelled bookings.
However, slower growth of new business enabled firms to make inroads into work outstanding at the start of the year – meaning that backlogs have now fallen continuously for two years.
However, input costs rose during the period, with the rate of inflation at its highest since September, 2008. Respondents also saw higher raw material and