The Bank of England regularly publish a summary of reports compiled by the twelve regional Agents following discussions with at least 700 businesses across the UK. This publication summarises intelligence gathered by the Bank’s Agents between mid-May and mid-June. The Agents’ scores published alongside this document are based on information gathered between late April and late May.
- More companies are reopening as lockdown restrictions ease, but activity remains very weak
- Some businesses will need to borrow more when they reopen. Government schemes are helping to support that
- Redundancies are likely to increase in the coming months as demand remains weak and the Job Retention Scheme is phased out
Spending on consumer services and non-food goods was significantly weaker than a year ago, though online sales of some products were strong.
Business and financial services
Activity weakened further overall, but developments across sectors were mixed, with demand holding up in restructuring, audit and IT.
Output continues to be significantly weaker than a year ago, though there has been a modest improvement in recent weeks as more companies reopen.
Corporate financing conditions
Demand for credit is high and expected to increase as companies start to reopen over the coming months.
Housing market activity is gradually resuming in England, and there are early signs of demand returning for some commercial real estate properties, but the outlook for both markets remains highly uncertain.
Companies have mostly cancelled or postponed non-essential investment to preserve cash buffers, and many are uncertain when or whether investment plans will be reinstated.
Employment and pay
A large number of workers remain on furlough, though increasing numbers are returning to work as companies across sectors reopen. However, redundancies are also picking up.