Consumer Confidence Index dips in Q4

Survey from Nielsen and the British Retail Consortium

  • Consumer Confidence Index at 71 points, down two points compared with Q3.
  • Biggest concerns over the next six months were the economy, increasing utility bills, job security and debt.
  • Switching to cheaper grocery brands continues to be an established strategy for staying within budget.
  • Retailers are increasingly focussing on ‘price’ as well as ‘value’.
  • Shoppers are spending more at discount retailers.

Public safety at risk

This could put me off eating out any more.

Councils are warning that new curbs on access to commercial premises would put public safety at risk because it would limit their ability to stop businesses selling unsafe food.

Curbs on food hygiene checks ‘would put public safety at risk’

The Local Government Association, which represents more than 350 councils in England and Wales, is urging Government to overturn proposals which would mean environmental health and trading standards officers have to seek a warrant through the courts to carry out inspections, unless given permission to enter by the business owner.

Poorer Americans aren’t as optomistic about the economy as rich ones

That’s not really news. is it?

Still, that’s what the AP-GfK Poll indicates. I suppose other people will put a different spin on it, but…

  • Nearly half of lower-income Americans describe their own household financial situation as “poor”, compared to just 17% of other Americans.
  • Moreover, only 21% with lower income agree the economy improved over the past month, compared to 38% of Americans reporting at least $50,000 in annual household incomes.
  • Lower income Americans are also less optimistic that unemployment will ease in the next 12 months – only 26% versus 43% of other Americans.


Business investment

Business Investment Q4 2011 provisional results

  • Business investment in seasonally adjusted terms fell by £1.7 billion to £28.7 billion (-5.6 per cent) when compared with the previous quarter.
  • Business investment decreased by £0.6 billion (-2.0 per cent) when compared with the fourth quarter of 2010.
  • Total manufacturing investment fell by £0.1 billion to £3.5 billion (-2.4 per cent) when compared with the previous quarter.
  • Total non-manufacturing investment decreased by £1.6 billion to £25.2 billion (-6.0 per cent) when compared with the previous quarter.
  • Compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, total manufacturing investment rose by £0.4 billion (11.3 per cent); total non-manufacturing investment fell by £0.9 billion (-3.5 per cent).

Second Estimate of GDP Q4 2011

Second Estimate of GDP Q4 2011

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) in volume terms decreased by 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011
  • Output of the production industries fell by 1.4 per cent, within which manufacturing fell by 0.8 per cent
  • Output of the service industries was unchanged, while output of the construction industry fell by 0.5 per cent
  • Household final consumption expenditure increased by 0.5 per cent in volume terms in the latest quarter

GDP and the Labour Market – 2011 Q4 – February GDP update



NEET Statistics – Quarterly Brief – February 2012

NEET Statistics – Quarterly Brief – February 2012

  • The current proportion of young people aged 16-18 who are NEET is much lower than in the 1980s, and has declined since a recent peak in 2005.
  • Quarter 4, 2011 NEET 16-24 was 15.9 per cent, up 0.3 per cent on the same period in 2010
  • The latest SFR NEET rate for 16-18 year olds, at end 2010, was 7.3 percent; the lowest level since consistent records began in 1994.
  • London has the lowext 16-18 NEET of all the English Regions