UK growth slows

  • GDP is estimated to have increased by 0.4% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2016 compared with growth of 0.6% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2015
  • Output increased in services by 0.6% in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2016. The other 3 main industrial groupings within the economy decreased, with production falling by 0.4%, construction output by 0.9% and agriculture by 0.1%
  • GDP was 2.1% higher in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2016 compared with the same quarter a year ago
  • In Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2016, GDP was estimated to have been 7.3% higher than the pre-economic downturn peak of Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2008. From the peak in Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2008 to the trough in Quarter 2 (Apr to June) 2009, the economy shrank by 6.1%

UK inflation up to 0.5%

Consumer Price Inflation, Mar 2016: ONS

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.5% in the year to March 2016, compared with a 0.3% rise in the year to February.

The rate has increased gradually since October 2015 although is still relatively low in the historical context.

Rises in air fares and clothing prices were the main contributors to the increase in the rate between February and March 2016.

These upward pressures were partially offset by a fall in food prices and a smaller rise in petrol prices than a year ago.

Consumer Price Inflation: Feb 2016

Consumer Price Inflation: Feb 2016

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.3% in the year to February 2016, unchanged from January 2016.
  • This maintains the position seen over the last few months of a rate which is a little above zero.
  • The contributions to change in the CPI rate from the detailed categories were relatively small compared with most months.
  • The largest downward contribution came from the transport sector, from price changes for items such as road passenger transport, second-hand cars and bicycles.
  • Rising food prices, particularly for vegetables, offset this

Unemployment falls

UK Labour Market, February 2016: ONS

  • There were 1.69 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 60,000 fewer than for July to September 2015 and 172,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 924,000 unemployed men, 116,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 766,000 unemployed women, 57,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 5.1%, lower than for a year earlier (5.7%). The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force (those in work plus those unemployed) that were unemployed
  • There were 31.42 million people in work, 205,000 more than for July to September 2015 and 521,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 22.98 million people working full-time, 387,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.43 million people working part-time, 134,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.1%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • There were 8.88 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 88,000 fewer than for July to September 2015 and 172,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.8%, lower than for a year earlier (22.3%) and only slightly higher than the record low of 21.7% last recorded for July to September 1990.

Inflation rises to 0.3%

Consumer Price Inflation, January 2016: ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.3% in the year to January 2016, compared with a 0.2% rise in the year to December 2015.
  • This is the third consecutive month of small increases, with the rate in January 2016 being the same as it was in January 2015.
  • The main contributors to the rise in the rate were motor fuels, and to a lesser extent food, alcoholic beverages and clothing.
  • Air fare prices partially offset the rise in the rate, falling by more than they did a year ago. This followed a large increase in prices in December 2015.

New low for UK unemployment rate

UK Labour Market, January 2016

Main points for September to November 2015

  • The unemployment rate was 5.1%, lower than for a year earlier (5.8%). It has not been lower since August to October 2005. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force (those in work plus those unemployed) that were unemployed.
  • There were 1.68 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 99,000 fewer than for June to August 2015 and 239,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 919,000 unemployed men, 149,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 756,000 unemployed women, 89,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 31.39 million people in work, 267,000 more than for June to August 2015 and 588,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 22.96 million people working full-time, 436,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.43 million people working part-time, 152,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.0%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

UK inflation rises

Consumer Price Inflation, December 2015: ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 0.2% in the year to December 2015, compared with a 0.1% rise in the year to November 2015.
  • Although this is the first month since January 2015 for which the rate has exceeded 0.1%, this continues the trend since early 2015 of the rate being very close to zero.
  • Movements in transport costs, particularly air fares and to a lesser extent motor fuels, were the main contributors to the rise in the rate.
  • Downward pressures from prices for alcohol and tobacco along with food and non-alcoholic beverages partially offset the rise