LONDON - The manufacturing sector shrank by about 4% this year and is expected to decline by a further 3.2% in 2023.

The Guardian said a “perfect storm” of increasing raw material costs, sagging consumer demand, staff shortages and higher borrowing costs have hit the sector hard, raising fears about the state of the United Kingdom (UK) economy.

Industry body Make UK said there is “no sugar-coating” the “poor outlook” for the next year and “possibly beyond”.