We regularly publish a summary of reports compiled by our twelve regional Agents following discussions with around 700 businesses across the UK. 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.
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.
How we use the Agents' intelligence
Our Monetary 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 - 22 March 2017
This publication is a summary of economic reports compiled by the Bank of England’s Agents between late November 2016 and late February 2017. It generally makes comparisons with activity and prices a year earlier.
- Moderate rates of activity growth had continued overall. Retail sales volumes growth had eased. It was expected to slow further during the year ahead as the fall in sterling fed through to higher prices, reducing households’ purchasing power. In contrast, export volume growth had picked up. That was due to the fall in sterling and stronger world growth.
- Investment intentions had picked up, pointing to modest growth in spending in the year ahead. That reflected continued moderate demand growth and less uncertainty about economic prospects, particularly in the near term. But a lack of visibility of the United Kingdom’s future trading arrangements was weighing on longer-term plans for some contacts.
- The fall in sterling was being passed through into higher manufacturing output and consumer goods price inflation. Business and consumer services price inflation had edged higher.
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