Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - October 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 19 October 2010
  • The Agents reported some further moderation in retail sales values growth against a background of fragile consumer confidence, but stable consumer services turnover growth.
  • Housing market activity had stayed weak after the summer. House prices were expected to stabilise or fall slightly.
  • Investment intentions had picked up in manufacturing, and continued to point to modest growth in services.
  • Robust growth continued in exports, particularly of goods, driven by global demand.
  • Services turnover continued to grow modestly.
  • Manufacturing output growth for the domestic market had strengthened, but continued to grow at a slower pace than for export.
  • Construction output was reported to be roughly on a par with last year’s weak levels, but contacts feared a further decline in 2011.
  • Credit conditions had continued to improve marginally for larger and less highly-leveraged contacts, but demand for credit remained weak.
  • Private sector employment intentions had eased slightly after improving earlier in the year. Contacts remained very cautious about expanding the labour force.
  • Spare capacity was reported to have fallen over recent months, particularly in manufacturing. Nonetheless, capacity utilisation remained slightly below normal.
  • Pay settlements continued to rise modestly.
  • Growth in non-labour input costs inflation had eased slightly.
  • Output price inflation remained modestly positive year on year in manufacturing, but business services prices remained slightly below a year earlier.
  • Retail goods price inflation had eased slightly, but inflation had picked up for consumer services.
  • The 2011 VAT rise remained likely to be passed on in full in early January by a majority of contacts, although there were some reports of contacts planning either slightly pre-emptive or slightly delayed pass-through.


PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - October 2010

Other Agents' summary of business conditions

This page was last updated 31 January 2023