Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - May 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 21 May 2014
  • Annual growth in retail sales values had been little changed and growth in consumer services turnover had edged higher.
  • Housing market transactions had risen strongly on a year earlier, though some contacts reported that the implementation of new rules resulting from the Mortgage Market Review appeared to have been associated with a slowing in mortgage approvals.
  • Investment intentions had increased, reflecting growing confidence in the strength of demand and, for some contacts, an improvement in the availability of finance.
  • Growth in business services turnover had remained strong, especially for professional and financial services.
  • Manufacturing output for the domestic market and for export had continued to grow at a steady pace.
  • Construction output had continued to grow strongly, driven by house building.
  • Corporate credit conditions had continued to improve.
  • Employment intentions had increased further, particularly in business services. Recruitment difficulties had remained slightly above normal.
  • Capacity utilisation had remained close to normal, though had risen a little further above that level in manufacturing.
  • Growth in total labour costs per employee had edged up further, remaining moderate.
  • Materials costs and imported finished goods prices had been little changed on a year earlier.
  • Output prices and profitability had continued to increase modestly.
  • Consumer price inflation had remained moderate, with services inflation having edged lower. 

PDFAgents' Summary of Business Conditions - May 2014

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