Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 7°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Rate of growth in business actvity slowed sharply in March, says Lloyds PMI survey

13:40 14 April 2014

Steve Elsom of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

Steve Elsom of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking

Business activity in the region continued to increase during March but the rate of growth slowed to a four-month low, according to the latest Lloyds Bank East of England PMI survey.


The headline seasonally adjusted Lloyds Bank East of England Business Activity Index dipped to 50.4 in March, still above the 50.0 threshold between growth and contraction but well down from February’s reading of 52.0.

Lloyds said that while output increased for the fourth successive survey period, the latest reading was the weakest in the current sequence, with the drop in overall activity growth driven by contracting output levels in the manufacturing sector.

Levels of incoming new business continued to increase in March, but the pace of expansion slowed and was below the overall UK average. Sector data suggested a solid contraction in new work at manufacturers, while volumes of incoming new orders increased at firms in the service sector.

East of England companies also continued to hire additional staff during March, but at the slowest pace in three survey periods. Companies that reported increased payroll numbers often linked this to higher new orders. Meanwhile, work-in-hand (but not yet completed) decreased for the second month running, and at the sharpest rate in four survey periods. According to anecdotal evidence, an expansion in operating capacity accounted for much of the latest decline in levels of outstanding business.

Cost burdens in the East of England continued to increase in March. Around 22% of panellists recorded higher input prices and linked this to increased fuel prices and a weak pound. However, cost inflation eased during the latest survey period, and was below the series average.

Companies in the East of England raised their output charges in March, and for the fifth consecutive month. An increase in input costs accounted for much of the latest rise, according to panellists.

Steve Elsom, area director for SME banking in East Anglia at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The private sector economy across the East of England weakened significantly in terms of activity and new orders in March.

“The labour market remained subdued, in line with the trend of moderating growth, with the weakest increase in employment levels for three months. Despite this, while input and output price inflation persisted both were weaker than in the previous month.”



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere at the former sugar beet factory site off Sproughton Road.

A new Enterprize Zone involving 10 development sites across East Anglia, with the potential to create 18,500 jobs, was announced by Chancellor George Osborne today.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivering his joint Autumn Statement and Spending Review to MPs in the House of Commons
Photo: PA Wire

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review today divided opinion between unions employers.

The Buttermarket Centre will become a £35m entertainment complex

Cinema giant Empire has signed up for a new £35m leisure complex being created in the Buttermarket Shopping Centre, Ipswich.

Natalie Moloney, of Woodbridge events firm Pink Lemonade Productions.

An entrepreneur is up for a fifth business award since her event planning company launched last year.

Tony Willson, managing director of Helmsman Services.

Colchester-based training specialist Helmsman Services has secured the largest contract in its 17 year history, for its construction-specific e-learning health and safety courses.

Households with children led an increase in leisure spending during October, according to Greene King.

Greene King has reported a boost to leisure spending during October from the Rugby World Cup and the release of the new James Bond film, Spectre.

Thomas Cook has reported its first annual profit for five years.

The boss of holiday firm Thomas Cook said yesterday that disruption experience since the deadly terrorist attacks in Tunisia, Egypt and Paris was “unprecedented” in his 30-year career.

Hopkins Homes' Bure Place development.

Suffolk-based housebuilder Hopkins Homes has now achieved a hat-trick of national awards for its restoration and conversion of a Victorian listed building in Norfolk.

Andy Fisk and Ian Tooke are the new  joint managing directors at JR Executive Travel.

Suffolk-based JR Executive Travel has been acquired in a buy-out deal valuing the business at £1.8million.

Jonathan Agar of Birketts. left, with Ian Thoroughgood of Grant Thornton.

Suffolk’s leading companies have together recorded solid growth in sales and profits over the past year, according to the new Suffolk Limited report from Grant Thornton.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24