Retailers report further improvement in the growth of sales volumes

High street sales continue to grow strongly in the year to June: CBI Distributive Trades Survey

  • 58% of retailers reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago, and 17% stated that sales had fallen. The resulting rounded balance of +42% was stronger than retailers had expected (+25%) and was the fastest growth reported since December 2010 (+56%)
  • Firms also reported better than expected growth in orders with the survey balance once again the highest since December 2010
  • Retailers expect strong increases in both sales and order volumes in the year to July
  • Retailers still considered the volume of sales to be below average for the time of year
  • Most retail sub-sectors reported an improvement in year-on-year sales growth

Businesses to benefit from the Olympics

Most London firms think 2012 Games will boost tourism and help promote the capital: CBI Survey

  • 92% of firms think that hosting the Olympics and Paralympics will help promote London internationally
  • 76% think they will boost tourism
  • 63% say they are looking forward to the Games
  • A quarter  expect their businesses to benefit directly from the events
  • 64% expect at least the same level of customer and business activity during the Games
  • 76% think the Games will have a positive impact on regeneration

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