Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°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.

shares

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.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

Sisters Hannah Huntly and Beth Cook at their Baker & Barista coffee house which is changing its name to Applaud Coffee due to a trademark issue.

An independent coffee shop is changing its name following a trademark clash.

The first container train to pass over the Ipswich chord rail link in Ipswich.

Seven Conservative MEPs from across East Anglia and the Midlands have challenged the European Commission over its refusal of funding for a scheme which would have helped to shift millions of tons of freight from road to rail.

FoxyBingo owner bwin.party has jilted suitor 888 Holdings in favour of a £1.1billion cash-and-shares offer from Sportingbet owner GVC.

David Brown, chief executive of Go-Ahead.

Bus and train operator Go-Ahead today reported increased underlying annual profits, helped by an improved performance from its rail business.

Ipswich businesswoman Melissa Day who is raising funds for an educational project working in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka

Ipswich businesswoman Melissa Day is planning a special Sri Lanka themed event at the Indian Palace restaurant in Ipswich, for a cause close to her heart.

A branch of cash and carry chain Booker.

Cash and carry chain Booker has been given the green light by the competition watchdog for its £40million takeover of Londis and Budgens.

Artist's impression of the new KFC proposed for Stane Park, Stanway

KFC has been announced as the latest name to sign up for a proposed leisure park in Stanway.

Roger Buston, right, principal at Asher Prior Bates, and Adrian Livesley, managing partner of Birkett Long.

Essex law firm Birkett Long has expanded again with the addition of Colchester-based Asher Prior Bates – its sixth acquisition in as many years.

The first departure of the Port of Felixstowe's 31st daily rail freight service, to Birch Coppice.

The Port of Felixstowe today saw the launch of its 31st daily rail freight service.

Maria Peyman of Birketts with colleagues Katherine Shadbolt and Kitty Rosser.

Maria Peyman has joined the commercial litigation team at law firm Birketts as a senior associate.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages