Manufacturing companies are warning that more than 140,000 jobs will be cut in British industry this year. The Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) made the prediction after speaking to 800 firms. It said the study made "grim reading" and predicted a slump in output and orders, increased job cuts and huge constraints on cashflow. The EEF said it expected manufacturing to decline by 8.6 per cent this year, the worst figure since the recession of the early 1980s. Chief economist Steve Radley said it was difficult to find any glimmers of hope in the study, apart from resilience among firms to survive the recession. All sectors of manufacturing have suffered falls in output and orders and have cut jobs in the past three months, with car firms the worst hit, the survey showed. The speed of decline has surprised the industry, with some firms who enjoyed their best year for a decade in 2007/8 now experiencing the worst economic conditions for 30 years.