Agent's summary of business conditions

6 Jan 2013

Agents’ summary of business conditions

Bank of England

  • Growth in consumer goods sales had continued at a slow rate, with contacts anticipating a late pre-Christmas surge in demand. Growth in demand for consumer services had also remained very modest.
  • The Funding for Lending Scheme was expected to take a few more months to have a meaningful impact on housing market activity. But competition was improving both in the mortgage and commercial lending markets.
  • Investment intentions had remained broadly stable, at a low, though positive, rate of growth.
  • Export sales growth had recently steadied, in part due to demand from emerging economies.
  • Growth in the output of business services had continued at a slow pace.
  • The gentle easing in manufacturing output for the domestic market had not altered, but growth in output for export had steadied.
  • Construction output was still lower than a year ago.
  • Employment intentions had picked up a little in business services but were otherwise unchanged.
  • Capacity pressures remained a little below normal.
  • The rate of inflation in labour costs remained low.
  • Non labour cost inflation had edged up slightly but remained below the rate of six months ago.
  • Output price inflation had picked up a little, but firms’ margins were tightening.
  • The rate of consumer goods price inflation had softened slightly.
  • Consumer services price inflation had continued to drift up.

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