The annual growth rate of nominal spending on consumer goods and services remained very weak.
• The level of activity in the housing market remained subdued, with less of a pickup than usual after the
• Investment intentions pointed to a further modest increase in spending on capital over the coming year.
• Exports of goods continued to grow steadily, although there had been some slowing in orders reflecting
both softer world demand and rising uncertainty.
• Manufacturing output was still growing compared with a year earlier, but the pace of growth had been
declining for some months.
• The growth rate of business services turnover had also fallen over the past few months, due to weakness
in professional and financial services.
• There had been a slight contraction in construction output, compared with a year earlier, and activity was
expected to fall further.
• Firms in a strong financial position could access credit on competitive terms, but small businesses often
reported that conditions remained tight, and in some cases had become tighter.
• Employment intentions had softened recently, with increasing uncertainty leading to greater caution in
• The level of capacity utilisation was around normal in manufacturing, but had fallen a little over the past
few months. There remained a degree of slack in services.
• Total labour cost growth remained modest, and slowing activity had lessened upward pressures on pay.
• Raw materials costs inflation continued to fall back.
• Import price inflation had levelled off, albeit at a high rate, following the easing in materials cost
• Manufacturing output price inflation continued to rise steadily, while inflation in business services was
• Annual inflation for consumer goods and services remained elevated
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