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Home > News and Publications > Agents' Summary of Business Conditions
 

Agents' Summary of Business Conditions

We regularly publish a summary of reports compiled by our twelve regional Agents following discussions with at least 700 businesses across the UK every reporting period. The report provides information on business conditions from firms across all sectors of the economy.

The reports do not represent the Bank's views, or those of any particular firm or region.

Agents' scores 

As well as their reports, our Agents also produce quantitative assessments of economic conditions as seen from their region. These scores provide numerical measures of the intelligence that they gather from month to month, and cover some areas of the economy for which there are no official statistics.

Bank of England Agents' scores

Definitions for the Agents' scores

For an overview of the Agents’ national scores, please see the box on page 51 of ‘The Agencies and One Bank’. 

 

Consultation on planned changes to the Agents’ national scores

The Bank has reviewed the scores collected by the Agents. The coverage of Agents’ scores will broaden; the changes are to accommodate new scores, to align the suite of scores as closely as possible with stakeholders’ data needs and to ensure that the scores can be produced as efficiently as possible.

The main planned changes to the scores are as follows:

  • Agents will move to providing whole economy measures for a number of scores which are currently split between manufacturing and services.
  • There will be a new indicator for services exports.
  • The capacity utilisation and employment intentions scores will be measured over a different time period.

Please see table for further details.

We would welcome any comments on the planned changes to Agencies-ScoreChanges@bankofengland.co.uk by 20th September 2017. You can also email us with any questions regarding the planned changes.

We intend to make the changes to the scores in early 2018 and will provide further notification when the final timings are set.

How we use the Agents' intelligence

Our Monetary Policy Committee and Financial Policy Committee uses the intelligence provided by the Agents, alongside information from other sources, to help it understand and assess current economic conditions.

Latest update - 20 September 2017

This publication is a summary of monthly reports compiled by the Bank of England’s Agents between late May 2017 and late August 2017. It generally makes comparisons with activity and prices a year earlier.
 
  • Households had responded to squeezed incomes by trading down or focusing on essential purchases. As a result, demand growth had slowed across a number of consumer-facing sectors, and modest nominal consumer spending growth primarily
    reflected price inflation.
  • Investment intentions indicated weaker growth within services, but were more positive for goods exporters.
  • Growth in labour costs per employee had been subdued, with settlements clustered around 2% to 3%. Recruitment difficulties remained elevated, with conditions becoming very tight for some skills.
  • The impact of past falls in sterling on consumer goods price inflation appeared to have reached its peak. Consumer services
    price inflation was steady overall.

 

Change the filter dates below to view previous releases.

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 2017 publication dates

 

​Wednesday 8 November

​Wednesday 20 December