Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - January 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 22 January 2014
  • Annual growth in the value of retail sales had eased, but consumer services turnover growth had edged higher.
  • Housing market activity had continued to strengthen.
  • Investment intentions in both manufacturing and services had continued to point to modest growth in capital spending over the next twelve months.
  • Annual growth in business services turnover had edged higher.
  • Manufacturing output growth for the domestic market had risen further. Moderate growth in the value of manufactured exports had continued, though the pace of growth had eased very slightly.
  • Annual growth in construction output had increased further, with signs that growth was spreading beyond house building.
  • Credit availability had continued to improve gradually, including for small and medium-sized enterprises, with evidence of increasing competition to lend.
  • There were widespread reports of growth in employment, albeit often incremental. Recruitment difficulties had edged higher and were now close to normal levels.
  • Spare capacity had continued to be eroded gradually as output rose.
  • The annual rate of growth in labour costs per employee had edged higher, though remained moderate.
  • Inflation in materials costs had remained subdued and imported finished goods price inflation had edged lower.
  • Output price inflation had remained muted, but profitability had edged higher alongside rising business volumes.
  • Inflation in consumer prices had fallen back over recent months, largely reflecting a slowing rate of increase in the price of retail goods.

PDFAgents' summary of business conditions - January 2014 

This page was last updated 31 January 2023