Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - January 2005

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.
Published on 21 January 2005
  • After allowing for seasonal influences, the monthly growth of retail sales values may have slowed a little, resulting in greater-than-normal price discounting around Christmas.
  • Export growth slowed and imports continued to gain market share in the United Kingdom.
  • Investment intentions may have levelled out. Manufacturing investment remained mostly targeted at achieving greater efficiency.
  • Manufacturing output continued to increase, but growth eased slightly.
  • Construction output growth declined a little and house builders reported falling sales.
  • Activity in the housing market continued to weaken. Even so, many contacts expected a recovery in the first half of 2005.
  • Service sector output growth declined slightly, partly related to the slowdown in the housing market.
  • Private sector employment growth weakened.
  • Capacity utilisation in the manufacturing and services sectors remained above normal. Skill shortages may have eased a little in the construction sector.
  • There was a modest increase in pay settlements and wage growth, but pay pressures were not seen as a cause for concern by most contacts.
  • Input price inflation may have peaked on account of recent falls in oil prices.
  • Competitive pressures and overseas sourcing continued to keep in check manufacturers’ margins and prices.

PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - January 2005

Other Agents' summary of business conditions

This page was last updated 31 January 2023