Contract manufacturer AB Electronics Plc warns that it saw a sudden deterioration in trading conditions in October and November – particularly in electronic assemblies: the company, which has one of the bluest of blue chip customer lists, reports that Jaguar is already having problems, and that Olivetti, IBM, British Aerospace, Mercedes, General Motors, Ford and Boeing were all reviewing their needs; the company has trimmed its workforce with an early retirement programme, and chairman Peter Phillips told the annual meeting that the effect of increases in the rate of interest is now coming through and the big investment boom in industry, which has led to rising orders for us, looks as though it is beginning to tail off; the company is seeing the effects only in the UK, and says that exports are holding up; the news sliced 50 pence off AB’s share price at 373 pence yesterday.
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