Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - December 2013

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 18 December 2013
  • Growth in the value of retail sales and consumer services had eased in recent months.
  • Housing market activity had continued to strengthen but remained below pre-crisis levels.
  • Investment intentions had continued to point to modest growth in capital spending over the next twelve months.
  • Growth in business services turnover had risen further.
  • Growth in manufacturing output for the domestic market had edged higher. Growth in manufacturing exports had remained unchanged.
  • Construction output had continued to accelerate from a low base, largely reflecting rising house building activity.
  • Corporate credit availability and pricing had continued to improve, though conditions remained tight for many small companies.
  • Employment intentions pointed to modest employment growth over the next six months. Recruitment had remained slightly easier than normal, though for a number of skilled occupations some difficulties had been reported.
  • Capacity utilisation was approaching normal levels in manufacturing and services.
  • The annual rate of growth in labour costs per employee had remained unchanged.
  • Inflation in materials costs had remained subdued. Imported finished goods price inflation had fallen, largely reflecting the effects of sterling’s recent appreciation.
  • Output price inflation had remained muted, but profitability had edged higher.
  • Consumer price inflation had edged down, partly reflecting lower fuel prices.

PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - December 2013 

This page was last updated 31 January 2023