Retail Sales

Retail sales in Great Britain: Aug 2016 – ONS

  • In August 2016, the quantity bought (volume) of retail sales is estimated to have increased by 6.2% compared with August 2015; all store types except textile, clothing and footwear, and household goods showed growth with the main contribution coming from food stores.
  • The quantity bought decreased by 0.2% compared with July 2016; the largest contribution to the decrease came from non-food stores which was offset by increases in non-store retailing, predominantly food stores and petrol stations.
  • The underlying pattern in the retail sector is still one of growth with the 3 month on 3 month movement in the quantity bought increasing by 1.6%.
  • The amount spent (value) in the retail industry increased by 4.1% compared with August 2015 and decreased by 0.5% compared with July 2016.
  • The amount spent online increased by 18.5% compared with August 2015 and increased by 0.4% compared with July 2016.
  • Non-seasonally adjusted average store prices (including petrol stations) fell by 1.9% in August 2016 compared with August 2015.

Unemployment falls

UK Labour Market: September 2016 – ONS

Main points for May to July 2016

  • There were 1.63 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 39,000 fewer than for February to April 2016, 190,000 fewer than for a year earlier and the lowest since March to May 2008.
  • There were 901,000 unemployed men, 88,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 731,000 unemployed women, 102,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 4.9%, down from 5.5% for a year earlier. The last time it was lower was for July to September 2005. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force (those in work plus those unemployed) that were unemployed.
  • There were 8.83 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 92,000 fewer than for February to April 2016 and 195,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.5%, the lowest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • Between February to April 2016 and May to July 2016, the number of people in work increased.
  • There were 31.77 million people in work, 174,000 more than for February to April 2016 and 559,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 23.25 million people working full-time, 434,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.51 million people working part-time, 126,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.5%, the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Inflation unchanged at 0.6%

UK consumer price inflation: Aug 2016 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.6% in the year to August 2016, unchanged from July.
  • The rate is still relatively low in the historic context although it is above the rates experienced in 2015 and early 2016.
  • The main upward contributors to change in the rate were rising food prices and air fares, and a smaller fall in the price of motor fuels than a year ago.
  • These upward pressures were offset by falls in hotel accommodation prices, in addition to smaller rises in the prices of alcohol, and clothing and footwear than a year ago.

The TUC said: “Ongoing low inflation signals need for urgent action to protect and boost growth

Unemployment falling

UK Labour Market: August 2016 – ONS

Main points for April to June 2016

  • There were 1.64 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 52,000 fewer than for January to March 2016, 207,000 fewer than for a year earlier and the lowest since March to May 2008.
  • There were 890,000 unemployed men, 124,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 750,000 unemployed women, 84,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 4.9%, down from 5.6% for a year earlier. The last time it was lower was for July to September 2005. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force (those in work plus those unemployed) that were unemployed.
  • Between January to March 2016 and April to June 2016, the number of people in work increased. The number of unemployed people and the number of people not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) fell.
  • There were 31.75 million people in work, 172,000 more than for January to March 2016 and 606,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 23.22 million people working full-time, 374,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.53 million people working part-time, 231,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.5%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971)
  • There were 8.84 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 58,000 fewer than for January to March 2016 and 179,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.6%, the joint lowest since comparable records began in 1971.

CPI rose by 0.6%

Consumer price inflation: July 2016

  • The reporting period for this release covers the calendar month of July 2016, therefore, the data refers to the period after the EU referendum.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.6% in the year to July 2016, compared with a 0.5% rise in the year to June.
  • Although the small increase in the rate between June 2016 and July 2016 takes it to the highest seen since November 2014, it is still relatively low in the historic context.
  • The main contributors to the increase in the rate were rising prices for motor fuels, alcoholic beverages and accommodation services, and a smaller fall in food prices than a year ago.
  • These upward pressures were partially offset by falls in social housing rent, and falling prices for certain games and toys.

The TUC said:

Inflation figure is a reminder of need for urgent action to protect jobs

Employment rate highest since 1971

UK Labour Market: July 2016 – ONS

Main points for March to May 2016

  • There were 1.65 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 54,000 fewer than for the 3 months to February 2016, 201,000 fewer than for a year earlier and the lowest since March to May 2008.
  • There were 903,000 unemployed men, 108,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 742,000 unemployed women, 93,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 4.9%, down from 5.6% for a year earlier. The last time it was lower was for July to September 2005.
  • There were 31.70 million people in work, 176,000 more than for the 3 months to February 2016 and 624,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 23.19 million people working full-time, 401,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.52 million people working part-time, 223,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.4%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • There were 8.87 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 46,000 fewer than for the 3 months to February 2016 and 181,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.6%, the lowest since comparable records began in 1971.

Self-employment rising

Trends in self-employment in the UK: 2001 to 2015 – ONS

The level of self-employment in the UK increased from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015.

The recent rise in self-employment is the extension of a trend started in the early 2000s

Part time self-employment grew by 88% between 2001 and 2015, compared to 25% for the full-time mode.

In general, self-employed workers are broadly content with their labour market status