In addition, they expect a standstill in industry investments in fixed assets, after nine consecutive quarters of increased investments.
The survey, conducted among 150 industrial companies, reveals that the last quarter of 2011 saw a sharp decline in industrial production, after nine consecutive quarters of rapid growth.
Thirty-six percent of manufacturers reported of a drop in production, and only 27% reported of a growth.
The survey's authors noted with concern that the reported drop in production in the past quarter, and the expected drop in the first quarter of 2012, were even sharper than the decline recorded in 2008, on the eve of the last economic crisis.
The survey also reveals that the last quarter of 2011 recorded, for the first time after eight consecutive quarters, a drop in the industry's workforce. Twenty-five percent of manufacturers reported of layoffs, compared to only 15% who hired more workers.
In addition, the decline in industrial sales to the local market has resumed: Thirty-four percent of manufacturers reported of a drop in sales compared to 27% who reported of increased sales.