In total, the Q2 2012 results suggest that the UK economy is stable, but its growth performance is still disappointing. However, the results show a surprisingly good improvement in exports. For both manufacturing and services, the export balances are now slightly above their average pre-recession levels in 2007. But most other key Q2 2012 national balances have recorded little net overall change compared with Q1 2012. Almost all the Q2 key balances are in positive territory, across both sectors, and are stronger than their average levels in the 2008-09 recession.

But, with the exception of exports and manufacturing employment, all the key balances are still below their pre-recession levels in 2007. The cashflow positions are weak, with a very low positive manufacturing balance, and a service sector balance still in negative territory. Plans to raise prices have eased further in Q2, and are now below their long term historical averages for both manufacturers and service firms. But inflation remains a significant reported concern for businesses in both sectors, despite easing price pressures.