Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - April 2010

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 20 April 2010
  • Consumer spending growth had softened slightly relative to the rates recorded at the end of 2009.
  • The imbalance between demand and supply in the housing market had corrected further. House prices, which had been rising for a number of months, appeared to have stabilised.
  • Investment intentions had picked up a little, but remained subdued.
  • Export growth had continued to recover gradually.
  • Business services output was reported to have picked up, mainly reflecting stronger demand for professional and financial services. Manufacturing output had continued to recover gradually, mainly reflecting stronger exports.
  • By contrast, output in the construction sector remained depressed.
  • The availability of bank lending had improved a touch. Competition in the banking sector was reported to have increased, as some foreign banks had entered, or re-entered the market.
  • There remained a significant margin of spare capacity in the economy, which could be mobilised relatively quickly were demand conditions to warrant it.
  • Employment intentions had remained stable. Few businesses were planning to increase headcount, but most major redundancy programmes appear to have been completed.
  • Pay pressures remained muted, but reports of pay freezes had become less widespread than in 2009.
  • Non-labour costs had continued to rise, reflecting increases in metals prices and transport costs. Imported finished goods prices had also picked up a little.
  • Consumer price inflation had stabilised. Contacts reported that the rise in VAT had now been passed through by the majority of those planning to do so.


PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - April 2010

Other Agents' summary of business conditions

This page was last updated 31 January 2023

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