Agents' summary of business conditions - June 2015

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 17 June 2015

This publication is a summary of monthly reports compiled by the Bank of England’s Agents following discussions with contacts in the period between late April 2015 and late May 2015.

  • Consumer services and retail sales turnover had continued to grow moderately.
  • Housing market transactions remained lower than a year earlier, with some contacts reporting shortages in the supply of homes for sale as the driver of this weakness.
  • Investment intentions had pointed to moderate growth in capital expenditure over the following twelve months.
  • Business services turnover growth had remained robust and broad-based.
  • Manufacturing output growth had edged higher for the domestic market. Growth in goods exports had remained subdued overall.
  • Construction output growth had eased further, but pointed to moderate growth.
  • Corporate credit conditions had remained at a level somewhat above normal, though they continued to vary by firm size and sector.
  • Employment intentions had continued to edge higher and were consistent with modest headcount growth.
  • Recruitment difficulties had increased slightly, becoming somewhat more broad-based.
  • Capacity utilisation had eased slightly in manufacturing, but remained slightly above normal for services.
  • Growth in total labour costs per employee had been steady.
  • Materials costs had continued to fall overall. The rate of decline in some imported finished goods prices had eased.
  • Output prices had continued to fall on a year earlier for manufacturers, but had risen moderately for business services firms.
  • Profitability growth had edged down for manufacturers, and remained modest for services.
  • Consumer price inflation had remained negative for goods; retail service prices had continued to increase modestly.

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