Agents' Summary of Business Conditions - November 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 November 2014
  • Growth in retail sales values and consumer services turnover had eased.
  • Housing market activity had shown little sign of a significant pickup after its summer slowdown, although it had remained higher than a year ago.
  • Investment intentions for the next twelve months had remained consistent with moderate growth overall, and had eased for manufacturing.
  • Business services turnover growth had remained relatively strong and broad-based across subsectors.
  • Manufacturing output growth for the domestic market had eased slightly. Manufacturing export growth had slowed further.
  • Construction output growth had remained robust and had continued to broaden out beyond house building.
  • Corporate credit conditions had continued to improve.
  • Employment intentions had eased for business and consumer services, but overall remained consistent with modest headcount growth.
  • Recruitment difficulties had been unchanged, remaining somewhat above normal. Staff churn had picked up.
  • Capacity utilisation had remained close to normal levels. Conditions had tightened in the service sector but had eased slightly for manufacturers.
  • Growth in total labour costs per employee had remained steady, reflecting modest growth in pay settlements but with some increased wage pressures in subsectors with skills shortages.
  • Other than for construction goods, most materials costs had continued to fall on a year earlier. Imported finished goods price inflation had remained negative.
  • Output price inflation had remained subdued, particularly for manufacturing companies. Profitability growth had been steady for services but had edged lower for manufacturers.
  • Consumer price inflation had remained modest. Price inflation had weakened for retail goods and had remained broadly flat for retail services.

PDFAgents' Summary of Business Conditions - November 2014

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