Growth in sales on the high street slowing

Distributive Trades Survey: CBI

  • 36% of retailers reported an increase in volume of sales compared to a year ago, and 17% a decrease
  • Retailers considered sales volumes to be below average for the time of year (-18%), disappointing expectations that they would be in line with seasonal norms (-1%)
  • Sales growth is expected to continue losing steam next month, with retailers expecting a slower rise once again in the year to January (+10%)
  • Orders placed by retailers upon suppliers rose (+13%) at a similar pace to last month year-on-year (+16%).

Consumer confidence falls

Consumer confidence falls: GfK

  • GfK’s UK Consumer Confidence Index has decreased by seven points this month to -29, following an eight point rise the previous month
  • The measure for the general economic situation of the country during the last twelve months has decreased 11 points to -55; this is seven points higher than December 2011.
  • An expectation for the general economic situation over the next 12 months has decreased 16 points this month to -31; this is 10 points higher than December 2011.


UK Economic Accounts: ONS

  • The UK economy grew by 0.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2012, following three consecutive quarters of negative growth.
  • Despite being revised down by 0.1 percentage points from the previous estimate, the latest quarterly growth rate remains the strongest since the third quarter of 2007.
  • Unusual factors in the second and third quarters are thought to have been partly responsible for this. In the second quarter, the poor weather and the loss of a working day due to the Diamond Jubilee may have reduced output. In contrast, hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the third quarter may have supported output.


Consumer Trends

Consumer Trends Q3 2012: ONS

  • In Q3 2012, household spending (adjusted for inflation) grew by 0.4 per cent (£874 million), Olympic and Paralympic ticket sales and car purchases were the main contributions to growth.
  • In Q3 2012 the volume measure increased by 0.4 per cent, meaning it was 4.8 per cent below the peak of pre recession spending in Q4 2007
  • The current price value of household spending (inflation included) shows how much UK households spent. In Q3 2012 the current price value of household spending increased by 0.8 per cent on the quarter, meaning it was 10.5 per cent higher than Q4 2007
  • In Q3 2012, the value of UK household spending per head, in current price terms, was £3,840, an increase of 0.6 per cent on the quarter, £241 higher than in Q4 2007

English Business Survey

English Business Survey, October 2012: BIS

As usual with these monthly releases from the English Business Survey, not much has happened. I guess we should be keeping track and watching out for trends – but I think I’ll wait for the annual summary.

And here is the link for Q3. – not much movement there either.

European low-wage earners

Low-wage earners: Eurostat

  • One out of six employees in the EU27 was a low-wage earner in 2010
  • The proportion of low-wage earners among employees amounted to 17.0% in 2010 in the EU27
  • In the EU27 in 2010, 21.2% of female employees were low-wage earners, compared with 13.3% of male employees
  • In the EU27 in 2010, 29.0% of employees with a low education level were low-wage earners, compared with 19.3% of those with a medium level and 5.8% of those with a high level.

Retail Sales

Retail Sales, November 2012: ONS

  • In November 2012, year-on-year estimates of retail sales volumes continued to show upward movements that have been seen in the retail sector since August 2011. However, this is not a long term pattern for the retail sector which overall, between 2007 and 2012, has been relatively flat.
  • Compared with November 2011, the quantity of goods bought (all retailing seasonally adjusted sales volumes) in November 2012 was estimated to have increased by 0.9%. Between the same periods the amount spent (all retailing seasonally adjusted sales values) was estimated to have increased by 1.5%.
  •  The estimated average weekly spend online in November 2012 was £711 million compared with £658 million in November 2011.
  • Across all retailing an estimated £7.3 billion was spent weekly in November 2012 and in November 2011. This indicates that while consumers continued to spend approximately the same amount as they did last year, this year they spent more online and less in store