Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - November 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 17 November 2009
  • Consumer spending had grown during the third quarter, though some contacts described sales as volatile from week to week.
  • Housing market activity remained above the very weak levels prevailing a year ago.
  • Investment intentions remained muted — weighed down by the margin of spare capacity and uncertainty over demand.
  • There had been a further slight improvement in the tone of reports from exporters.
  • There was a clear sense that many contacts had completed any de-stocking needed to bring inventories down to levels commensurate with the lower level of economic activity.
  • Manufacturing output had bottomed out during the summer, though some contacts found it hard to be confident of any trend in demand. While there were few reports of further contraction in business services activity, evidence of growth was patchy. Construction activity remained well down relative to the same period a year earlier.
  • Availability of credit may have eased slightly — particularly for larger firms outside the property and construction sectors — but remained tighter than in mid-2008.
  • Few contacts anticipated making substantial additional cuts to employment over the next few months as past cuts to headcount and average hours, coupled with lower pay settlements, had been sufficient to rein in labour costs.
  • Per capita labour costs remained below their levels a year earlier and there were no signs of widespread inflation in materials costs.
  • Consumer goods price inflation remained low but positive.


PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - November 2009

Other Agents' summary of business conditions

This page was last updated 31 January 2023