Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - December 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 21 December 2010
  • The Agents reported that the annual pace of growth in both retail sales values and consumer services turnover was broadly unchanged.
  • The housing market softened further, with sales of both new and existing homes falling back.
  • Investment intentions continued to improve, particularly in manufacturing, on the back of rising exports and planned efficiency gains.
  • Growth in exports remained rapid, particularly of goods, driven by demand from emerging markets. Demand had also picked up in the euro area and the United States.
  • Services turnover growth had softened slightly, reflecting continued downward pressure on fees.
  • Manufacturing output was still growing robustly, helped by strong overseas demand.
  • The Agents’ score for construction output turned positive, indicating that the level of activity had risen compared to last year. But there were concerns about the outlook.
  • Large firms had seen a further improvement in credit conditions but small firms continued to report that conditions remained tight.
  • Private sector employment intentions rose a little, driven by the consumer services and manufacturing sectors.
  • The degree of spare capacity remained wider than usual, particularly in services.
  • Labour costs continued to edge up, reflecting rising productivity. And there was also a degree of compensation for past wage restraint.
  • Materials cost inflation remained robust, due to global demand and supply pressures.
  • Rising costs had been passed on to some extent in manufacturing output price inflation.
  • Contacts continued to expect to pass on the bulk of the rise in VAT, with some already having raised prices.


PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - December 2010

Other Agents' summary of business conditions

This page was last updated 31 January 2023