Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - June 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 18 June 2014
  • Annual growth in retail sales values had picked up sharply following a recent weakening. Growth in consumer services turnover had been stable.
  • Activity in the housing market had eased. There were fewer mortgage completions and approvals, reflecting a shortage of supply of properties on the market and the impact of the implementation of the Mortgage Market Review.
  • Investment intentions had moderated, with some firms scaling back capital expenditure from above normal levels. But commercial property investment had picked up.
  • Growth in business services turnover had eased slightly.
  • Manufacturing output for the domestic market had continued to grow at a steady pace. The appreciation of sterling had tended to affect export margins rather than volumes.
  • Construction output had continued to grow strongly, and growth was widening out beyond house building.
  • Corporate credit conditions had continued to improve, helped by increased competition between lenders.
  • Employment intentions had been little changed and still pointed to modest growth in the next six months.
  • Recruitment difficulties had remained slightly above normal.
  • Capacity utilisation was marginally above normal overall, although significant spare capacity remained in some parts of the economy.
  • Growth in total labour costs per employee had increased slightly, remaining moderate.
  • Materials costs had fallen slightly, with the exception of those used in the construction industry. Imported finished goods prices had remained stable.
  • Output prices had continued to increase modestly, and margins on domestic sales were expected to improve over the coming year.
  • Consumer price inflation had edged lower.

PDFAgents' Summary of Business Conditions - June 2014

This page was last updated 31 January 2023