Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - May 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 18 May 2005
  • Retail spending has shown few signs of recovery. Retailers were increasingly cautious about the short-term outlook, though few anticipated a further deterioration.
  • The housing market continued to pick up slowly from its end-2004 trough. Estate agents expected a moderate recovery to continue in the months ahead.
  • Export growth was modest, with markets in Western Europe remaining subdued.
  • Investment intentions were fairly upbeat, partly due to growing pressures on capacity.
  • Manufacturing output continued to rise gently, though the pace of growth may have weakened further. The global recovery in investment was underpinning demand for capital goods.
  • Construction output growth remained strong.
  • Service sector output growth picked up slightly. Activity in the business and professional services sector was especially strong.
  • Private sector employment growth may have stabilised in recent months. Stronger jobs growth in the service sector partly reflected the greater availability of skilled workers. Recruitment difficulties had eased.
  • Capacity utilisation increased slightly in the service sector, though that partly reflected special factors in professional services.
  • Pay pressures continued to edge up slightly.
  • Input price inflation remained high, though somewhat off its peak in late 2004.
  • Manufacturers were more able to secure price increases, though prices of retail goods continued to fall.

PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - May 2005

Other Agents' summary of business conditions

This page was last updated 31 January 2023