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Inflation up to 2.5%

Consumer price inflation, UK: July 2018 – ONS

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.5% in July 2018, up from 2.4% in June 2018.

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.3% in July 2018, unchanged from June 2018.
  • Rising prices for computer games and transport fares produced the largest upward contributions to change in the 12-month rate between June and July 2018, although computer game prices tend to be highly variable from month to month.
  • The upward effects were offset by falls in prices for clothing and footwear, and the removal of initial charges for investment in some unit trusts.
  • Prices for clothing and footwear fell by 0.4% between July 2017 and July 2018, the first time the 12-month rate has been negative since October 2016.

Unemployment falling

UK labour market: July 2018 – ONS

  • There were 1.41 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 12,000 fewer than for December 2017 to February 2018 and 84,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was 4.2%, down from 4.5% for a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975.
  • There were 32.40 million people in work, 137,000 more than for December 2017 to February 2018 and 388,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was 75.7%, higher than for a year earlier (74.9%) and the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • There were 8.64 million people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 86,000 fewer than for December 2017 to February 2018 and 184,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive) was 21.0%, lower than for a year earlier (21.5%) and the joint lowest since comparable records began in 1971.

Unemployment falling

UK labour market: April 2018 – ONS

Main points for December 2017 to February 2018

  • There were 1.42 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 16,000 fewer than for September to November 2017 and 136,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.2%, down from 4.7% for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975.
  • There were 8.73 million people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), little changed compared with September to November 2017 but 154,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive) was 21.2%, lower than for a year earlier (21.6%) and the joint lowest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • There were 32.26 million people in work, 55,000 more than for September to November 2017 and 427,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was 75.4%, higher than for a year earlier (74.6%) and the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Inflation falls

Consumer price inflation, UK: February 2018: ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.7% in February 2018, down from 3.0% in January 2018.
  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.5% in February 2018, down from 2.7% in January 2018.
  • The largest downward contributions to the change in the rate came from transport and food prices, which rose by less than a year ago.
  • Falling prices for accommodation services also had a downward effect.
  • Rising prices for footwear produced the largest, partially offsetting, upward contribution.

Unemployment rises

UK labour market: February 2018 – ONS

Main points for October to December 2017

  • There were 1.47 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 46,000 more than for July to September 2017 but 123,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.4%, down from 4.8% for a year earlier.
  • There were 8.77 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 109,000 fewer than for July to September 2017 and 95,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.3%, lower than for a year earlier (21.6%).
  • There were 32.15 million people in work, 88,000 more than for July to September 2017 and 321,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.2%, higher than for a year earlier (74.6%).
  • There were 901,000 people (not seasonally adjusted) in employment on “zero-hours contracts” in their main job, little changed compared with a year earlier.

 

GDP increases by 0.5%

Gross domestic product, preliminary estimate: October to December 2017 – ONS

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have increased by 0.5% in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2017, compared with 0.4% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2017.
  • The dominant services sector, driven by business services and finance, increased by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter, although the longer-term trend continues to show a weakening in services growth.
  • Production industries grew by 0.6%, boosted by the second consecutive quarter of strong growth in manufacturing.
  • Growth in manufacturing was partially offset in total production by a significant fall in oil and gas extraction, caused by the well-publicised repair work made to the Forties pipeline.
  • Construction contracted for the third quarter in a row, although annual growth between 2016 and 2017 was very strong at 5.1%, due to a strong start to 2017.
  • GDP was estimated to have increased by 1.8% between 2016 and 2017, slightly below the 1.9% growth seen between 2015 and 2016.

Inflation falling

UK consumer price inflation: December 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.7% in December 2017, down from 2.8% in November 2017.
  • Following a steady increase from late 2015, since April 2017 the CPIH rate has levelled off, ranging between 2.6% and 2.8%.
  • The downward effect came mainly from air fares, along with a fall in the prices of a range of recreational goods, particularly games and toys.
  • The downward contributions were partially offset by an increase in tobacco prices, reflecting duty increases that came into effect following the Autumn Budget, along with an increase in petrol and diesel prices.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 3.0% in December 2017, down from 3.1% in November 2017