- UK gross domestic product (GDP) was flat in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019
- Growth in both services and construction was offset by a fall in production, which resulted in 0.0% GDP growth in the three months to December 2019
- Rolling three-month growth weakened for the third month in a row in December 2019
- Headline GDP grew by 1.4% in 2019
Last year, total sales fell 0.1%, marking the first annual sales decline since 1995.
Sales in November and December were particularly weak, falling 0.9%
Like-for-like retail sales fell 1.2% over November and December compared with the previous year
Main points for August to October 2019
- The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8%, 0.3 percentage points lower than a year earlier but largely unchanged on the previous quarter.
- The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.8%, 0.2 percentage points lower than a year earlier but largely unchanged on the previous quarter.
- The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.2%, 0.4 percentage points higher than a year earlier but little changed on the previous quarter; despite just reaching a new record high, the employment rate has been broadly flat over the last few quarters.
Take Back the High Street: Putting communities in charge of their own town centres – Power to Change Report
Greater community ownership of high street properties could lead to many fewer empty shops, compared to ownership by private-sector interests such as real estate companies and overseas investors.
- Shops owned by overseas investors are more than twice as likely to be vacant as shops owned by the public sector
- Real estate companies own one in four of all empty shops, and overseas investors own one in five; whereas the public sector and social sector  own around one in ten each
- Just 8% of units owned by the social sector are vacant, and 4.5% of those owned by the public sector – compared to 9.2% for real estate companies, 9.6% for overseas investors, 11.9% for institutions like pension funds, and 13% for investment management schemes
- The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8%; this is lower than a year earlier (4.0%) and unchanged on the quarter.
- The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.8%; this is lower than a year earlier (21.2%) and unchanged on the quarter.
- The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1%; this is the joint-highest on record since comparable records began in 1971, and higher than a year earlier (75.5%).
Covering the four weeks 30 June – 27 July 2019
- On a total basis, sales increased by 0.3% in July, against an increase of 1.6% in July 2018. This is the lowest figure recorded for the month of July since BRC records began in 1995 and comes after the worst June on records. This is above the 3-month average of -1.3% but below the 12-month average of 0.5%. This is the lowest 12-month average on records.
- UK retail sales increased by 0.1% on a like-for-like basis from July 2018, when they had increased 0.5% from the preceding year. This is above the 3-month and 12-month averages of -1.5% and -0.2% respectively.
- Over the three months to July, in-store sales of Non-Food items declined 4.1% on a Total basis and 4.0% on a like-for-like basis. This is worse than the 12-month Total average decline of 2.6%.
- Over the three months to July, Food sales decreased 1.0% on a Like-for-like basis and 0.3% on a Total basis. This is below the 12-month Total average growth of 1.8% and the lowest 3-month average since December 2014, excluding Easter distortions.