Bank of England agent’s summary of business conditions
Activity had continued to grow at a solid rate on a year earlier, driven by services and construction output, but the pace of growth had eased a little overall. In particular, manufacturing growth had slowed, partly reflecting the effects of sterling’s earlier appreciation and subdued world demand on export supply chains.
Housing market activity had picked up modestly, though it remained constrained by the number of properties available for sale. High levels of competition were reported among lenders, which had led to falls in mortgage rates and increased remortgaging activity.
Employment intentions indicated continued growth in the workforce. Recruitment difficulties were reported to be contributing to rising wage pressure in the service sector, but weak consumer price inflation had reduced the pressure on some employers to raise pay growth.
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