Not much in the way of change to report this quarter – but there never is anything earth shattering from this survey
English Business Survey, May 2012: BIS
- More workplaces, weighted by employment, reported higher output in May 2012 compared with February 2012
- The balance of expectations for output in August 2012 compared with May 2012 is positive
- GDP decreased by 0.7 per cent in Q2 2012 (revised to 0.5 per cent decrease on 24 Aug 2012) compared with Q1 2012
- This follows falls of 0.3 per cent in Q1 and 0.4 per cent in Q4 2011
- GDP in volume terms decreased by 0.8 per cent in Q2 2012, when compared with Q2 2011
John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said:
“When I talk to businesses on the ground, however, the overwhelming view is that right now the economy is flat rather than negative, and there is potential for Britain to get back into growth later in the year.”
I don’t agree with the CBI that often but it does seem that, once trade flattens out rather than falling, smaller businesses that I come in contact with are more positive about the future.
British Chambers are also not as gloomy as might be expected – although the want government action. John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“Many of our members are continuing with guarded optimism, but the government must ensure confidence is not damaged further”
First annual Subjective Well-being Annual Population Survey: ONS
- Three-quarters (75.9 per cent) of people aged 16 and over rated their overall ‘life satisfaction’ as 7 or more. This compares with 80.0 per cent of people who gave a rating of 7 or more when asked whether they felt the things they did in their lives were ‘worthwhile’
- When asked about day-to-day emotions, 10.9 per cent of people in the UK rated their ‘happiness yesterday’ as less than 5 out of 10 (indicating lower happiness).
- Women were more likely to report higher levels of subjective well-being
- ‘Life satisfaction’ and ‘worthwhile’ ratings differed by age, with people aged 16 to 19 and 65 to 79 reporting, on average, the highest ratings.
- The ethnic group with the lowest average ‘life satisfaction’ rating was the ‘Black/African/ Caribbean/Black British’ group (6.7 out of 10).
- Having a partner appears to be related with improved subjective well-being.
National Well-being – Health: ONS
- Between 1930 and 2010 life expectancy at birth in the UK (that is the length of time that an individual born in a specific year can expect to live) increased by around a third for both sexes from 58.7 to 78.2 years for men and from 63.0 to 82.3 for women
- Cancer was still the most common cause of death in the UK in 2011, followed by heart disease, diseases of the respiratory system and cerebrovascular diseases, which includes stroke
- In England in 2007, around one in six adults had a common mental disorder such as anxiety or depression
National Well-being – Where we Live: ONS
- In October 2011 and February 2012, 84 per cent of adults aged 16 and over in Great Britain reported a medium/high satisfaction (7 to 10 out of 10) with their living accommodation
- In 2008, adults aged 18 and over in England reported levels of crime (61 per cent), clean streets (45 per cent) and health services (44 per cent) as the most important factors in making somewhere a good place to live
- In the 12 months to May 2012, UK house prices increased by 2.3 per cent. The average UK mixadjusted house price was £228,000 (not seasonally adjusted).
- In 2011, 5 per cent of adults aged 18 and over in Great Britain reported feeling a sense of isolation due to difficulties accessing local shops and services
Councils need to better understand procurement spend with small firms to benefit local economy – says FSB
I do hear local authorities talking a load of old tosh about using local businesses as suppliers – and this FSB survey indicates that for many councils, local procurement isn’t really a priority.
- 38% of councils do not actively record the location of their spending
- 49%) don’t know the size of business they trade with
I’m not a great believer in psychology so I don’t really believe behavioural economics can tell us much. But if you are interested in that kind of stuff, here is the new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, funded by the Nuffield Foundation
Tax and benefit policy: insights from behavioural economics
European external current account: Eurostat
- The EU27 external current account recorded a deficit of 4.1 billion euro in the first quarter of 2012, compared with a deficit of 31.3 bn in the first quarter of 2011
- 31.1 bn euro surplus for trade in services
Retail Sales, June 2012: ONS
- In June 2012, all retailing sales volumes were estimated to have increased by 1.6 per cent compared with June 2011. Over the same period, all retailing sales values were estimated to have increased by 1.9 per cent.
- In June 2012, non-seasonally adjusted data shows that small stores fared better than large stores. Sales values at small stores were estimated to have increased by 4.1 per cent compared with June 2011 and large stores were estimated to have increased by 1.2 per cent.
- The total amount spent in the five week period 27 May 2012 to 30 June 2012 is estimated at £32.7 billion, non-seasonally adjusted, up from £26.4 billion in the four week period of May 2012 and £32.1 billion in June 2011. This equates to an average weekly spend of £6.5 billion in June 2012, £6.6 billion in May 2012 and £6.4 billion in June 2011.