Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - August 2014

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 August 2014
  • Retail sales and consumer services values had continued to grow at a steady rate.
  • The number of housing market transactions had eased over recent months. Market participants attributed that to shortages in housing stock and the effects of the implementation of the Mortgage Market Review.
  • Contacts’ capital expenditure plans suggested continued steady growth in investment over the next twelve months.
  • Business services turnover growth had remained robust.
  • Manufacturing output for the domestic market had continued to grow steadily. Growth of manufacturing export values had eased slightly, reflecting weaker global demand growth.
  • Construction output growth had remained strong.
  • Corporate credit conditions had improved slightly further.
  • Employment intentions had continued to grow more slowly than output for most contacts, as they strived to improve productivity.
  • Recruitment difficulties had edged up further, remaining modestly above normal.
  • Capacity utilisation had been unchanged, remaining marginally above normal.
  • Growth in total labour costs per employee had remained moderate.
  • Materials costs and imported finished goods prices had fallen on a year earlier, partly reflecting the effects of sterling’s appreciation.
  • Output price inflation was stable in business services, but had eased back in manufacturing, partly reflecting easing input costs. Profitability had risen further, although the rate of growth had slowed slightly for services.
  • Consumer price inflation had remained modest reflecting the persistent price-sensitivity of consumers, the slow recovery in real incomes and, consequently, intense retailer competition.

PDFAgents' Summary of Business Conditions - August 2014

This page was last updated 31 January 2023