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.

Agents' summary of business conditions - March 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 18 March 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 January 2015 and late February 2015.

  • Consumer demand had continued to grow steadily.
  • There were signs of a pickup in housing market activity since the start of the year.
  • Investment intentions for the next twelve months were consistent with moderate growth overall.
  • Business services turnover growth had remained robust and broadly based.
  • Manufacturing output growth for the domestic market had edged lower. But manufacturing export growth had picked up slightly from low levels.
  • Construction output growth had continued to ease slightly, but remained robust overall.
  • Corporate credit availability had continued to improve.
  • Employment intentions had eased further for business services firms, but were consistent with modest headcount growth overall.
  • Recruitment difficulties had changed little, at a level somewhat above normal.
  • Capacity utilisation had remained at broadly normal levels in manufacturing, but slightly above normal for services.
  • Growth in total labour costs per employee had been broadly steady.
  • Materials costs and imported finished goods prices had remained lower than a year earlier.
  • Output prices had been broadly flat on a year earlier for manufacturers, although they had risen moderately for business services firms. Profitability had increased modestly.
  • Consumer price inflation had fallen further for goods. Moderate rates of inflation in services prices had continued.

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