Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - May 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 22 May 2013
  • Annual growth had edged higher for retail sales values but had fallen slightly for consumer services values, continuing a pattern seen since the turn of the year.
  • There were further reports of gradually improving housing market activity, both for new home sales and secondary market transactions, reflecting an easing of mortgage conditions and the effects of existing government incentive schemes.
  • Investment intentions for the coming twelve months had remained subdued but positive.
  • Manufacturing output growth had edged higher, both for export and for the domestic market.
  • Annual growth in business services turnover had been little changed overall, remaining higher than at the start of the year.
  • Construction output had remained slightly below levels a year earlier, though there were continued reports of an increase in early-stage activity among larger private housebuilders.
  • Corporate credit conditions had remained broadly unchanged, albeit with some further pass-through of reduced bank funding costs and some tentative signs of improvement in credit availability and demand.
  • Employment intentions pointed to a slight rise in staffing levels in business services companies over the coming six months, but a flat workforce in manufacturing and consumer services.
  • Capacity utilisation had remained a little below normal in both manufacturing and services.
  • The annual rate of growth in labour costs per employee had remained subdued, and had edged lower for services.
  • The rate of inflation had remained unchanged for materials costs, but had increased slightly for imported finished goods as sterling’s recent depreciation had started to feed through.
  • Manufacturers’ and business services’ output price inflation had edged higher but remained muted.
  • The rate of inflation in retail goods and services prices had been unchanged.

PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - May 2013

This page was last updated 04 January 2019
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