UK inflation rises

Consumer Price Inflation, October 2014

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) grew by 1.3% in the year to October 2014, up from 1.2% in September.
  • Smaller falls in transport costs than a year ago – notably for motor fuels and air fares, and price rises for computer games were the main contributors to the rise in the rate of inflation.
  • Food and motor fuel prices, which have historically been upward contributors to the 12-month CPI rate, are currently reducing it by 0.3 percentage points.

Unemployment falling

Labour Market Statistics, November 2014: ONS

Key Points for July to September 2014

  • There were 1.96 million unemployed people, 115,000 fewer than for April to June 2014 and 529,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 6.0%, lower than for April to June 2014 (6.3%) and lower than for a year earlier (7.6%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 9.03 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 38,000 more than for April to June 2014 but 16,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 22.2%, little changed compared to April to June 2014 (22.1%) and compared to a year earlier (22.3%).
  • Comparing the estimates for July to September 2014 with those for April to June 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes maintain the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.79 million people in work. This was 112,000 more than for April to June 2014 and 694,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, higher than for April to June 2014 (72.8%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.6%).
  • There were 22.52 million people working full-time, 589,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.27 million people working part-time, 105,000 more than for a year earlier.

On the other hand the TUC says:

Only one in every forty new jobs since the recession is for a full-time employee

 

Growth – but not as much as last quarter

Gross Domestic Product, Q3 2014

  • GDP increased by 0.7% in Q3 2014 compared with growth of 0.9% in Q2 2014.
  • GDP was 3.0% higher in Q3 2014 compared with the same quarter a year ago.
  • In Q3 2014 GDP was estimated to have been 3.4% higher than the pre-economic downturn peak of Q1 2008. From the peak in Q1 2008 to the trough in Q2 2009, the economy shrank by 6.0%

Retail sales up – or down depending on how you look at it

Retail Sales, September 2014

  • The quantity bought in the retail industry in September 2014 was estimated to have decreased by 0.3% compared with August 2014. However, it increased by 2.7% compared with September 2013 making this the 18th consecutive month of year-on-year growth. This is the longest period of sustained year-on-year growth since May 2008, when there were 31 periods of growth.
  • The underlying pattern continues to show growth with the rolling three-month on three-month growth rate increasing by 0.3%.  However, this was the slowest growth seen in this measure throughout 2014.
  • In September 2014, the amount spent in the retail industry decreased by 0.6% compared with August 2014.  However, it increased by 1.3% compared with September 2013. Non-seasonally adjusted data show that the average weekly spend in the retail industry in September 2014 was £6.9 billion compared with £6.8 billion in September 2013 and £6.9 billion in August 2014
  • The proportion of online sales were unchanged in September 2014 compared with August 2014 at 11.4%. Online sales increased by 10.1% compared with September 2013

UK unemployment below 2m

UK Labour Market, October 2014

Key Points for June to August 2014

  • There were 1.97 million unemployed people, 154,000 fewer than for March to May 2014 and 538,000 fewer than a year earlier. This is the largest annual fall in unemployment on record. Records for annual changes in unemployment begin in 1972.
  • The unemployment rate continued to fall, reaching 6.0% for June to August 2014, the lowest since late 2008. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the economically active population (those in work plus those seeking and available to work) who were unemployed.
  • There were 9.03 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 113,000 more than for March to May 2014 but 46,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 22.2%, higher than for March to May 2014 (22.0%) but lower than for a year earlier (22.4%).
  • There were 30.76 million people in work. This was 46,000 more than for March to May 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since March to May 2013. Comparing June to August 2014 with a year earlier, there were 736,000 more people in work.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, slightly higher than for March to May 2014 (72.9%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.5%).

Unemployment continues to fall

Labour Market Statistics, September 2014

  • Comparing the estimates for May to July 2014 with those for February to April 2014, employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. These changes continue the general direction of movement since late 2011/early 2012.
  • There were 30.61 million people in work. This was 74,000 more than for February to April 2014, the smallest quarterly increase since April to June 2013. Comparing May to July 2014 with a year earlier, there were 774,000 more people in work.
  • The proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work (the employment rate), was 73.0%, slightly higher than for February to April 2014 (72.9%) and higher than for a year earlier (71.6%).
  • There were 2.02 million unemployed people, 146,000 fewer than for February to April 2014 and 468,000 fewer than a year earlier. This is the largest annual fall in unemployment since 1988.
  • The unemployment rate continued to fall, reaching 6.2% for May to July 2014, the lowest since late 2008.
  • There were 8.93 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were out of work and not seeking or available to work (known as economically inactive). This was 114,000 more than for February to April 2014 but 31,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The economic inactivity rate was 22.1%, higher than for February to April 2014 (21.8%) but lower than for a year earlier (22.3%)

Household spending

Consumer Trends, Q2 2014

  • In Q2 2014, household spending (adjusted for inflation) grew by 0.6% (£1.5 billion).
  • The main contribution to growth can be seen in ‘Miscellaneous goods and services’ which has increased by 2.8% compared with Q1 2014. The largest negative contribution to growth can be seen in ‘Food and drink’ which has fallen by 0.9% compared with Q1 2014.
  • Household spending when compared with the same quarter a year ago has been rising each quarter since Q3 2011, it was 2.1% higher in Q2 2014, when compared with Q2 2013.
  • The current price value of household spending, which includes inflation, shows how much UK households spent. In Q2 2014 current price spending increased by 1.2% compared with Q1 2014, continuing the trend of positive quarterly growth since Q3 2009.
  • The household expenditure implied deflator grew by 0.6% in Q2 2014. Within household spending categories the ‘Miscellaneous goods and services’ implied deflator showed the largest increase in percentage terms, growing by 2.5% in Q2 2014.