Comments on October Monitor
This month it is particularly important to note: The Monitor records only the number/share of companies, not the size of orders or number of jobs etc.
- The positive trend is maintained through October.
- Outlook for the remainder of the year appears positive
- The prospecting news remains favourable with the proportion of 'Downers' falling back to single figures again.
- This strong trend in enquiry increases still not being converted into orders at a similar speed.
- So the 'Downers' order share has remained stubbornly around 25% or higher since May.
- There's little or no change in job vacancies which remain high.
- This month there's been a marked increase in the share of firms reporting investment in skills, but we are still some way back from where the Monitor was in 2016 on this measure.
- Access to finance, some slight improvement maybe.
- Confidence remains positive, even firmly so as the three year trend shows.
- Prospecting balances improved in October by 11 points for UK business (to +37) and 7 points on exports (+27)
- 2017 3-month running average balances UK +26 Export +21
- 2016 3-month running average balances UK +23 Export +16
- 2015 3-month running average balances UK -1 Export -6
- 'Downers' share of reports fell back to single numbers (9% on UK business and 6% on exports).
- Order balances were +21 for UK business and +15 on exports.
- So they were on an increasing trend for UK and slightly weaker for exports
- 2017 3-month running average balances UK +7 Export +3
- 2016 3-month running average balances UK +4 Export +5
- 2015 3-month running average balances UK -1 Export -7
- The worrying trend of the last five months of a quarter or more reporting orders lower continues into Q4.
- Job opportunities remain plentiful with the monthly balance around +36.
- Far more companies are reporting job opportunities than the last two years
- 2017 3-month running average balances +36
- 2016 3-month running average balances +13
- 2015 3-month running average balances +8
- Share of firms reporting investing in all areas higher; skills investment picks up this month, but running three-month average weak compared with last year
- 2017 3-month running average balances Investing +42 Skills +15
- 2016 3-month running average balances Investing +33 Skills +24
- 2015 3-month running average balances Investing +36 Skills +14
Access to Finance:
- Small positive or little change
- Confidence has run positive for over 14 Monitor months (since August 2016).
- 2017 3-month running average balances +26 of which 'Downers' -9
- 2016 3-month running average balances +21 of which 'Downers' -14
- 2015 3-month running average balances -8 of which 'Downers' -27
- The current balances have been on a strengthening trend, so that the Q3 average this year at +22 is better than double the Q3 2016 level (+9)
The Monitor (Click
graphs for larger image and data)
- choice of statements in full:
- Developing projects but not committing
- Investing in all areas of the business