Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - July 2009

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 July 2009
  • There was further evidence that levels of consumer spending had started to stabilise during the second quarter.
  • The recovery in housing market activity had continued.
  • Investment intentions remained very weak.
  • Export volumes had continued to fall.
  • There were widespread reports that the pace of de-stocking had slowed. An increasing number of contacts had now unwound any excess inventories.
  • Contacts’ reports continued to point to some stabilisation in manufacturing output, albeit at levels well below the previous peak. Professional services activity may also have started to stabilise. But demand for haulage and corporate spending on discretionary activities remained very weak.
  • The availability and cost of finance remained a key concern for many firms.
  • Employment had continued to decline. Many firms expected to trim staffing levels further, but a growing number felt that they had now completed the bulk of any adjustment to head count in the wake of weak demand.
  • Per capita labour costs remained lower than the same period a year earlier. Business services prices were also falling, while inflation in materials prices had eased.
  • Consumer goods price inflation remained low but positive, as ongoing promotional activity pushed against rising import prices. There were, however, occasional reports that promotional activity was becoming less aggressive as retailers’ concerns over excess stock levels receded.


PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - July 2009

Other Agents' summary of business conditions

This page was last updated 31 January 2023