BOE Agents’ summary of business conditions
We regularly publish a summary of reports compiled by our twelve regional Agents following discussions with around 700 businesses across the UK. The report provides information on business conditions from firms across all sectors of the economy.
The reports do not represent the Bank’s views, or those of any particular firm or region.
As well as their reports, our Agents also produce quantitative assessments of economic conditions as seen from their region. These scores provide numerical measures of the intelligence that they gather from month to month, and cover some areas of the economy for which there are no official statistics.
How we use the Agents’ intelligence
Our Monetary Policy Committee uses the intelligence provided by the Agents, alongside information from other sources, to help it understand and assess current economic conditions.
The summary of monthly reports compiled by the Bank of England’s Agents between late February 2017 and late May 2017. It generally makes comparisons with activity and prices a year earlier.
– Moderate underlying growth in activity had continued overall. Annual sales growth in volume terms had continued to slow. Export volume growth had continued to increase, supported by the lower sterling exchange rate and stronger world growth.
– Investment intentions had strengthened a little further, including investment in technology and to support increased export demand. However, heightened uncertainty remained a drag on some businesses’ willingness to invest.
– The direct impact of the fall in sterling on cost inflation for manufacturers’ raw materials had eased, but increased costs continued to pass through supply chains into retail prices.
To see the full summary click here