Growth in the business sector has remained solid in the summer months, according to Regional Network enterprises. The global turbulence does not appear to have acted as a substantial drag on activity, even though some enterprises have noted a decline in external demand. Contacts expect growth to slow slightly over the next six months.
Contacts report an increase in output over the past three months of around 3.0 percent, measured as an annual rate. The oil service sector has experienced the sharpest rise, particularly in the domestic market. Commercial services have also experienced solid growth. At the same time, growth in construction and domestically-oriented manufacturing has slowed somewhat.
Capacity utilisation has shown little change since the previous survey, while employment growth was slightly lower in most sectors. As before summer, contacts estimate annual wage growth of 3.2 percent in 2019.
Contacts expect slightly lower growth over the next six months. Oil services in particular expect lower growth. Retail trade and the export industry also expect growth to slow slightly. Some contacts are concerned about the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and trade tensions between the US and China. At the same time, many contacts believe that other driving forces, such as digitalisation, increasing competition from abroad and the focus on climate and health are just as important for developments ahead.