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  English Business Survey: Latest monthly (October 2012) & Quarterly (Quarter 3) dataDec 21, 2012 11:19 AMGary Wainman

English Business Survey: Latest monthly (October 2012) & Quarterl...
From: Gary Wainman
To: Business Statistics
Posted: Dec 21, 2012 11:19 AM
Subject: English Business Survey: Latest monthly (October 2012) & Quarterly (Quarter 3) data
Today saw the release of the latest English Business Survey (EBS) results for October 2012 and Quarter 3 2012.

Key points from the October 2012 statistics are:

1. In England as a whole there is a picture of relative stability with the majority of businesses reporting that employment, labour costs and output prices remain the same in October as in July. 

2. The proportion of businesses reporting output as higher in October than in July was at the highest level for 5 months; However, expectations of future output have become less optimistic - for the first time since October 2011, a greater share of businesses expect output to be lower in three months time than expect it to be higher.  

3. The North East and Yorkshire and the Humber are more subdued than other regions in England. Businesses in the North East have the most pessimistic expectations of output and employment levels over the next three months.    

4. Generally, London performs well on most measures and is the most optimistic, reporting positive balance scores for all measures - except the expected volume of stocks in January 2013; and is the only region in England with a positive balance for both expected output levels and employment levels in January 2013.     

5. The majority of businesses report that their workforce and capital are both utilised at satisfactory levels, but a greater proportion of businesses report their capital and workforces to be overstretched than underutilised

Key points from the Quarter 3 2012 statistics are:

1. In England as a whole there is a picture of relative stability with the majority of businesses reporting that employment, labour costs and output prices remain the same in Quarter 3 as in Quarter 2 - there is some variation in the levels reported for each NUTS1 and NUTS2 area, especially for employment levels. 

2. In England, when compared to the last Quarter, output was stable for the majority of businesses. However, when compared to Quarter 2, there was a decrease in the proportion of businesses reporting that output  was higher, whilst the proportion reporting that output had fallen has increased. Expectations of future output have become more optimistic when compared to Quarter 2.  

3. London is the most optimistic region in terms of expectations of output rises over the next quarter, with the East of England the most optimistic in terms of expectations of employment rises. However, the South West is generally less optimistic than other regions in England, with Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly pessimistic over both future levels of output and employment. 

4. Most businesses reported that utilisation of their workforce and capital was at a satisfactory level. A greater proportion of businesses reported that their workforce was overstretched than reported their workforce was underutilised, but conversely greater proportion of businesses reported that their capital was underutilised than reported their capital was overstretched.


What these statistics mean: 

1. The EBS is a survey of workplaces. A workplace can be a single business, or a workplace that is part of a larger enterprise, for example the local store of a large supermarket. Ninety seven per cent of enterprises consist of a single workplace. The term business will be used throughout this release. 

2. In order to reflect the relative importance or contribution of different sized workplaces to the local economy, the survey uses the number of people employed at each workplace as the measure of its contribution to the economy. 

3. Where 'Balances' are presented, they are the difference between the positive responses and the negative responses. Balances allow a summary assessment of whether businesses that account for more of the economy feel positive or negative about something. More detailed information on the terminology used is included in the Background Notes to the release.

Detailed EBS data: the EBS Reporting Tool

The English Business Survey Reporting Tool allows users to access the full range of monthly and quarterly statistics for a range of geographies. To access the statistics go to -

Documents and Data

Statistical release and Data tables

As usual, data tables for the latest survey results and a statistical release are available at: Direct links are:

Statistical release & data tables:

If you require statistics in a different format, please e-mail the with your request; please include your name, organisation and a brief description of how you intend to use the data in the email.

Micro data

EBS micro data are available for use by approved researchers from ONS' Virtual Microdata Laboratory (link below) and to UK academics via the UK Data Archive (link below).

Virtual Microdata Laboratory -

UK Data Archive -

Next Release:

November 2012 monthly EBS statistics will be released in January 2013.

Feedback & updates

We would welcome any feedback that you might have on the survey, including how you are making use of the data and any suggestions you may have for further improvements, both in terms of methodology and accessibility to the data.

If you (or colleagues) would be interested in receiving regular updates about results from the survey, please let us know.

Best wishes for the holiday season
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