English Business Survey

English Business Survey – April 2012: BIS

There isn’t much to report in these monthly statistical releases so I guess we will have to examine trends over 12 months or more to get any useable information. Still, at least the information is available now, even if it is so cautious that it is not very exciting.

  • More workplaces, weighted by employment, reported higher rather than lower output in April 2012 compared with January 2012
  • The balance of expectations for output in July 2012 compared with April 2012 is positive across all regions, ranging from 21% to 36%

Labour costs, employment expectations and output prices were pretty much unchanged or neutral.


Living standards

Living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK: 2012 – IFS

  • Over the past fifty years, average household net incomes have grown by about 1.7% per year in inflation-adjusted terms
  • Average private incomes started falling in 2008-09
  • Average household pre-tax-and-benefit income fell over 7% between 2007-08 and 2010-11, after accounting for inflation
  • Income inequality in the UK fell sharply in 2010–11.

‘Odd jobbing’ self-employment may be masking signs of trouble

CPID’s response to unemployment figures

  • Analysis of the official statistics finds a sharp rise in self-employment more than accounting for the small fall in unemployment
  • Previous analysis from the CIPD found that the recent rise was less a sign of a resurgent enterprise culture and more evidence of a growing army of part-time ‘odd jobbers’ desperate to avoid unemployment
  • Unemployment will edge up again over the course of the summer

Output prospects improve

Output prospects improve: CBI Industrial Trends Survey

  • 27% of manufacturers expect to increase their volume of output over the course of the next three months, while 19% expect it to fall
  • 17% reported that order books were above normal  and 28% stating that order levels were below normal
  • 2% of firms expect to increase output prices over the next quarter

Retail Sales, May 2012

Retail Sales, May 2012: ONS

  • All retail sales values in May 2012 are estimated to have increased by 3.3 per cent compared with May 2011 and increased by 1.0 per cent compared with April 2012
  • All retail sales volumes in May 2012 are estimated to have increased by 2.4 per cent compared with May 2011 and increased by 1.4 per cent compared with April 2012

European GDP per capita

First estimates for 2011 – European GDP per capita: Eurostat

  • The highest level of GDP per capita in the EU27 was recorded in Luxembourg with a level of more than two and a half times the EU27 average. The Netherlands were just above 30% of the average, while Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Austria were between 25% and 30% above. Finland, Belgium and Germany were between 15% and 20% above the average, while France and the United Kingdom were between 5% and 10% above. In Italy and Spain, GDP per capita was around the EU27 average.
  • Cyprus was around 10% below the EU27 average, while Slovenia, Malta, Greece, the Czech Republic and Portugal were between 15% and 25% lower, and Slovakia was around 25% below. Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Lithuania were between 30% and 40% lower than the average, while Latvia was around 40% below, Romania around 50% below and Bulgaria 55% below.
  • Actual Individual Consumption per capita in the Member States ranged from 44% to 150% of the EU27 average


Unemployment down, claimant count up

Labour Market Statistics, June 2012: ONS February to April 2012

  • The unemployment rate was 8.2 per cent of the economically active population, down 0.2 on the quarter. There were 2.61 million unemployed people, down 51,000 on the quarter
  • The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 23.0 per cent, down 0.2 on the quarter. There were 9.23 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, down 69,000 on the quarter
  • The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 70.6 per cent, up 0.3 on the quarter
  • There were 29.28 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 166,000 on the quarter. The number of people employed in the private sector increased by 205,000 to reach 23.38 million but the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 39,000 to reach 5.90 million, the lowest figure since March 2003
  • The claimant count in May 2012 was 1.60 million, up 8,100 on the previous month and up 96,300 on a year earlier. The claimant count rate was 4.9 per cent, unchanged on the previous month but up 0.3 percentage points from a year earlier.