• The Agents reported a further softening in the pace of retail sales values growth. By contrast, consumer
services turnover growth remained steady.
• Investment intentions remained little changed on the month. Overall, intentions are consistent with a
gradual, rather than robust, pickup in spending.
• Export growth had picked up further. The rise in exports since early 2010 had mainly reflected strengthening
world demand, although the lagged effect of the lower level of sterling had played an increasingly important
role in recent months.
• Services turnover continued to rise modestly.
• The widespread pickup in manufacturing output had continued, reflecting stronger exports but also a rise in
• Construction output remained well below its level a year earlier.
• Credit conditions had become increasingly polarised in recent months, easing for those firms perceived to be
better-quality credits, but remaining tight for many smaller firms, and those operating in certain sectors.
• Private sector employment intentions had been rising modestly in recent months, but contacts expected that
improvement to be offset by cuts in public sector headcount.
• Pay settlements had been edging higher throughout 2010, although they remained moderate overall.
• Non-labour input costs continued to rise, but there were tentative signs that the annual inflation rate might
have passed its peak.
• Contacts continued to report little pricing power. Output price inflation remained muted.
• Consumer price inflation appeared to have stabilised in recent months.
• The majority of contacts expected to pass on the 2011 VAT rise in full in January.
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 July 2010 and late August 2010. It
provides information on the state of business conditions from
companies across all sectors of the economy. The report does not
represent the Bank’s own views, nor does it represent the views of
any particular company or region. The Bank’s Monetary Policy
Committee uses the intelligence provided by the Agents, in
conjunction with information from other sources, to assist its
understanding and assessment of current economic conditions.
A copy of this publication can be found at:
The Bank of England has Agencies for Central Southern England, the
East Midlands, Greater London, the North East, the North West,
Northern Ireland, Scotland, the South East & East Anglia, the
SouthWest, Wales, the West Midlands & Oxfordshire, and
Yorkshire & the Humber.
The Bank’s assessment of current monetary and economic
conditions, and the outlook for inflation, are contained in the
Inflation Report, obtained from: