Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - May 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 15 May 2009
  • There were further reports that the pace of contraction in consumer spending had eased.
  • The pickup in housing market activity had continued — albeit from a low base.
  • Investment intentions remained very weak.
  • Manufacturing export volumes had shrunk further, as the slowdown in global demand outweighed any gains to competitiveness arising from sterling’s depreciation.
  • De-stocking had continued throughout 2009, but recent reports suggested that the pace of de-stocking may have eased over the past month.
  • Business services turnover remained significantly lower than the same period a year earlier.
  • Construction activity had continued to contract sharply.
  • While credit conditions remained tight, some contacts felt that the major British banks’ appetite for lending had increased a little.
  • Labour demand had continued to shrink and employment intentions remained weak. Cuts in average hours, lower bonuses and commissions, and low pay settlements had continued to reduce per capita labour costs.
  • On average, there had been little change in the rate of inflation in materials prices. Weak demand conditions had continued to press down on suppliers’ margins.
  • Consumer goods price inflation remained positive but modest, as promotional activity and falls in domestic energy prices pushed against the impact of rising import prices.

PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - May 2009

Other Agents' summary of business conditions

This page was last updated 31 January 2023

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