Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - June 2012

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 June 2012
  • Consumer demand continued to grow at a gradual pace, although the Agents’ scores for growth in retail goods and services edged down on the month.
  • The fairly widespread improvement in housing market activity since the start of the year appeared to have dissipated somewhat.
  • Contacts reported that investment was likely to rise at a modest pace over the coming twelve months.
  • Goods exports continued to grow steadily, driven by increases in demand in a number of emerging market economies, but had slowed a touch on the month.
  • Turnover in the business services sector had risen a little compared with a year earlier, but fortunes both across and within subsectors were very mixed.
  • The manufacturing industry continued to expand at a modest pace. The strongest activity was typically among firms in export supply chains.
  • Construction output had declined compared with a year earlier, as public sector contracts came to an end.
  • Credit conditions had tightened somewhat, with a number of firms reporting that rates and fees had risen. And many firms remained focused on paying down existing debt.
  • Private sector employment intentions suggested that job numbers would be broadly stable over the next six months.
  • Capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector was around normal, while there was rather more slack in the service sector.
  • Private sector settlements tended to be between 2%–3%. Awards were, on balance, higher in manufacturing than services, while pay freezes remained common in construction and retail.
  • Non-labour input costs had continued to stabilise, and the pace of inflation had slowed further.
  • Manufacturing output price inflation remained around its historical average. Business services inflation was subdued.
  • Consumer price inflation was falling slowly, but remained elevated.

PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - June 2012

This page was last updated 31 January 2023