Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - February 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 19 February 2014
  • Growth in retail sales values in the past three months on a year earlier had been little changed, though consumer services turnover growth had edged higher.
  • Housing market activity had continued to strengthen across the country.
  • Investment intentions were strengthening gradually.
  • Annual growth in business services turnover had been little changed.
  • Manufacturing output growth for the domestic market had risen further, while growth in manufactured exports values had remained steady.
  • Construction growth had increased a little further, following a sharp pickup through 2013.
  • Credit availability had continued to improve gradually across the corporate sector, including for smaller companies.
  • Employment intentions had increased a little, indicating expectations of modest headcount growth across the economy over the next six months. Recruitment difficulties had ticked up and were marginally above normal.
  • Capacity utilisation had edged higher in manufacturing on the month and, overall, was close to normal levels.
  • Growth in labour costs per employee had edged higher, but remained moderate.
  • Inflation in materials costs and imported finished goods prices had fallen in recent months.
  • Output price inflation had been little changed, remaining subdued. Profitability had continued to improve across manufacturing and services, though remained below normal.
  • Consumer price inflation had eased slightly further.

PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - February 2014

This page was last updated 31 January 2023